NBI, AIA Propose Changes to IECC to Help Buildings
Save on Energy Costs
June 15, 2009
The New Buildings Institute (NBI) and the American Institute of
Architects (AIA) are proposing comprehensive changes to the International
Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for new commercial buildings that
would help create buildings that are 20-25 percent more energy efficient
than what today's average standards require. The groups submitted
their proposal to the International Code Council (ICC) June 1 for
consideration in the current code development process.
According to an announcement from NBI and AIA, the proposed high-efficiency
energy code is modeled on NBI's Core Performance protocol, a direct
and prescriptive approach to achieving energy savings in commercial
buildings. Building codes based on Core Performance have already
been adopted by the state of Massachusetts and are under consideration
by other states and municipalities.
"In co-authoring this proposal, it was our intention to make
sure that the new energy codes would be stringent enough to advance
our stated goal of achieving carbon neutrality in buildings by 2030,"
said Christine McEntee, executive vice president/CEO of the American
Institute of Architects. "We feel it is important for the private
sector to take a leadership position on this important issue that
relates to the built environment."
"We're already seeing market shifts toward more energy-efficient,
high performance buildings among the design community and forward-thinking
owners," said Dave Hewitt, NBI executive director. "These
market leaders are benefiting from lower energy costs and higher-value
buildings," he said.
The high efficiency energy code proposal contains specific measures
and strategies that allow designers and builders to use widely available
equipment and products. These include:
Building Envelope. The proposal incorporates insulation
standards that have been used in utility programs or adopted into
recent national model codes. The windows and doors are specified
to provide good insulation value while also keeping out excess heat
that increases air conditioning costs.
Heating/Cooling. The proposal provides for improved design
of air distribution systems and increased efficiency levels in heating
and cooling equipment.
Lighting. Energy consumption is reduced by using a sensible
approach to placing high-efficiency lighting fixtures, ballasts,
and bulbs in work and public areas in offices, schools, retail,
and other types of commercial buildings. Lighting controls, such
as occupancy and daylight sensors, also reduce wasted energy. The
proposal ensures that quality lighting is delivered with minimum
energy use and cost in all types of commercial buildings.
Quality Assurance. In order to assure that buildings save
energy as they were designed to, the proposal specifies testing
or commissioning processes for key building energy systems.
Renewable Power. The proposal offers options for using renewable
power to meet part of the energy savings objective.
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