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USGNN Original StoryProposal to Move IECC into IRC Denied

A proposal to move the International Energy Conservation Code's (IECC) text into the International Residential Code (IRC) was denied on Monday at the hearings of the International Code Council (ICC) in Palm Springs, Calif. The suggestion was put forth by Thomas Culp of Birchpoint Consulting LLC and Thomas Zaremba of Roetzel and Andress.

Opponents to this proposal came out in full force. Among them was Michael Fischer, codes consultant for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA).

"I want to point out that there's a myth that we have to have a single, stand-alone code," he told the committee. "We don't."

Culp, rebutted, saying, "Again, we're not eliminating the IECC-the IECC will still have residential provisions so those programs can continue as is."

He also noted that he is still for energy-efficient residential building-and this doesn't change that.

"We support a 30-percent increase in energy efficiency, and this does not conflict with that in any way," Culp added.

Fischer, though, noted practically adding the IECC into the IRC would not make sense. "Imagine the next [code] cycl—we now would be adding one or two days more to our discussions."

John Hogan of the City of Seattle agreed.

"It does not make sense to me to add so much text for a situation that's going to be used so infrequently," he said.

Chris Mathis of Mathis Consulting also noted the complexity involved in adding the text to the IRC.

"Having all of the calculations, rules and tradeoff mechanisms in the code is not something we all want to necessarily deal with everyday," he said. "The IRC currently has that simple compliance path. To embrace that simple compliance path, don't say, 'we need to put every compliance path for every building type in.' That would complicate things."

Jeff Harris of the Alliance to Save Energy agreed.

"We have a situation in place now that is workable and what's being proposed would be a radical change and would send a message to the construction industry that we have no need for the IECC," he said. "This is not the time to make a radical change like this."

The committee voted the proposal down, 6—5.

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