Can you Influence ICC Energy Code Language?

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineMarch 27, 2019
by Laura Soderlund with contributions from Kirk Grundahl

   

The only way you can have any effect on the building code is to get directly involved. In fact, with a little effort you can change current code language that is unclear or write new sections of code based on your area of expertise. The code development process is open to anyone having influence if initiative is taken.

International Code Council logoBetween 2006 and 2012, the efficiency of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) improved by about 38%.

Buildings use 40% of America’s energy.  Constructing them to be as efficient as possible is important. Involvement in the development of the 2021 IECC this year will affect family budgets, energy consumption, housing markets, and the American economy as a whole for generations to come.

View 2019 Group B Proposed Changes

Updating the IECC every three years keeps it up-to-date with modern technology and building practices. This advances the evolution of new building construction so that buildings resist all applied loads effectively, are durable, efficient to build, reduce energy costs and are state-of-the-art.

Key drivers for the implementation of innovative systems are; 1) engineering, 2) construction best practices, 3) construction techniques that save labor, and  4) providing the best economic solution for the structural framework and building envelope. Innovation through free market economics is what makes this nation the best place to transact business on the planet.

Committee action hearings logoObviously, the building code can have a significant impact on the responsible evolution of innovation in the built environment. This is particularly true in the energy sector where chemistry combines with traditional materials to create really cool and valuable energy savings products. For example, who really knew about open cell spray foam 10 years ago?

This is why direct involvement is so important. Each voice matters when code provisions are created. In addition, participating in the code development process allows new intelligence to be gathered as one listens to various points of view, making arguments over proposed language. Much nuance can be learned about energy efficiency, building envelopes and the construction process overall. Genuinely, active participation in the code development process can be a very valuable strategic planning session.

As a point of reference, of the 20,000 potential voters (Governmental Member Voting Representatives, or GMVRs) eligible to vote in the last code cycle, only about 500 cast votes for IECC proposals. Therefore, your voice does matter and we all need your participation.

Sign up today for the 2019 Committee Action Hearings form: April 28 – May 8, 2019 in Albuquerque, NM. Register here or send an email to at springhearings@iccsafe.org  or call Jessica Franklin 888-ICC-SAFE (888 422-7233), ext 4333.