Energy Codes to be a Major Focus During Upcoming ICC Hearings
October 14, 2010

The International Code Council's Code Development Final Action Hearings will take place October 24-31 in Charlotte, N.C. Energy codes will play a major part in this set of hearings, and the outcome will result in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, which will be published in early 2011.

According to industry consultant Tom Culp, there are about 35 proposals that potentially affect the fenestration industry.

On the commercial side, some of the issues include:

  • Proposals that affect the prescriptive glazing area, with possibilities including 30 percent window-to-wall ration (WWR), 40 percent WWR, or a compromise which has 30 percent WWR but allows 40 percent WWR when the building includes certain daylighting features;
  • Proposals that revise the prescriptive fenestration criteria, including U-factors and solar heat gain coefficients (SHGC). Others include proposals using the values developed by ASHRAE 90.1 and currently under appeal, as well as proposals that seek to revise the product categories;
  • A proposal to add new visible transmittance/SHGC requirements;
  • Proposals to revise the air leakage requirements;
  • A proposal to clarify that AAMA 507 may be used for code compliance, in addition to NFRC; and
  • Proposals to require a minimum amount of skylights in certain building types (e.g. big box retail, warehouses) to ensure daylighting energy savings, similar to a new requirement in ASHRAE 90.1.

On the low-rise residential side, issues that will be covered include:

  • Lower U-factors across the county, but particularly in the south (zones 2-3), which could exclude metal-framed windows, as well as a proposal to remove the current allowance for hurricane impact-resistant windows;
  • Proposals to lower the SHGC in zones 1-4;
  • Proposals to have higher SHGC limits for skylights, to preserve daylighting potential;
  • Proposals to restore the ability to take credit for installing high efficiency HVAC equipment, which increases the flexibility for trade-offs in other envelope components (including windows and doors); and
  • Proposals to limit the glazing area in homes when using the prescriptive path.

USGNN.com™ will provide code change news and updates throughout the week of the hearings.

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