NY, VA & WA Seek Changes to the Building Envelope

Originally published by: ASHRAEFebruary 5, 2019

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State legislatures in New York, Virginia and Washington have recently introduced legislation that would could have an impact on the building envelope.  Summaries are below:

New York Looks to Favorably Update Building Codes

NY A 4460 would update the state fire prevention and building code and the state energy conservation construction code within 12 months of the publication of any updated or revised edition of the international and national codes.

NY A 4606 would authorize local governments to adopt local building code standards which are more stringent than those in the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

Virginia Proposed Legislation References ASHRAE's Advanced Energy Design Guide

The Commonwealth of Virginia is considering legislation that will update the Virginia Small Business Financing Act. The legislation (House Bill 2192, companion Senate Bill 1331), includes a new section, Section 22.1-141.1, standards for buildings and facilities, that would require that new public school buildings and facilities and improvements to existing public school buildings and existing facilities be Zero Energy buildings based on ASHRAE's Achieving Zero Energy – Advanced Design Guide for K–12 School Buildings. This legislation was engrossed by the House on February 4 and will go to the Senate. View the proposed language here.

Washington State Introduces Legislation to Update State's Energy Efficiency Policy

Legislation has been introduced in the State of Washington which would update its current energy efficiency policy. Senate Bill 5293 (companion House Bill 1257) adds new sections to the state's energy performance standards. Specifically, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 100-2018 is adopted by reference as a model for standard development. Should this bill pass, the state Department of Commerce shall seek to maximize reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector. The standard must include energy use intensity targets by building type and methods of conditional compliance that include an energy management plan, operations and maintenance program, energy efficiency audits, and investment in energy efficiency measures designed to meet the targets.

Additionally, Standard 100-2018 is paired with EPA's Energy Star® for building occupancy classifications. The Department may consider building occupancy classifications from these two when developing energy use intensity targets. See the bills: SB 5293 and HB 1257.