Ever wondered how energy codes make homes more efficient? This infograph from the US Energy Information Agency tells it all. Take a look at how things have changed from homes in 1993 to more recent homes. Even with all our power suckers like cell phones and gaming systems, household energy use is lower than it used to be. All thanks to energy codes.
Highlights of the 2015 IECC
Residential Code Changes
What makes the 2015 IECC different from the 2012 version? The biggest change that will affect builders is the addition of an Energy Rating Index compliance path. You can learn more about what the compliance path requires at energycodesocean.org. Other important changes include the following:
- Required Inspections: The 2015 IECC specifies when inspections should be done and what should be inspected for the four inspections (footing and foundation, framing and rough-in, plumbing rough-in, and mechanical rough-in). The impact of this change can result in better quality installation of insulation and air barrier.
- Vertical Access Doors: A new exception has been allowed for vertical doors that provide access from conditioned to unconditioned space. The doors do not have to be insulated to the same level as the surrounding wall as long as they meet specified U-factor requirements.
- Building Envelope Air Leakage Testing: Air leaking testing was required in both the 2009 and 2012 versions of IECC, but neither code referenced any standard by which to conduct the test. The 2015 IECC requires that this testing be done in accordance with either ASTM E 779 or ASTM E 1827.
- Combustion Closets: Where open combustion ducts provide air to open combustion fuel burning appliances, the appliance and the combustion air opening shall be located outside the building thermal envelope or enclosed in a room, isolated from inside the thermal envelope. The closet must also be air sealed and the door must be fully gasketed.
- Duct Insulation: The requirements for duct insulation have been revised slightly, making duct insulation requirements dependent on the location and the diameter of the duct.
Overall, builders and code officials will find the 2015 IECC to be a better code that the 2012 version. Not only does it allow for a new and more flexible compliance path, but also many of the small changes have cleaned up the language to make the code easier to understand and comply with. You can read more detail on our web page at utahenergy.org.
FOUR FACTORS YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT ABOUT MEASUREMENT AND CALIBRATION
While preparing for a recently held webinar, The Energy Conservatory (TEC) started thinking about the most important issues related to measurement and calibration. To ensure their gauge users are getting the most accurate readings, they have shared four factors every building tester should know about measurements and calibration of gauges.
Here we have highlighted the four most important issues related to measurement and calibration. A more in depth look at these issues can be found here on our website.
1. The real world is different than the laboratory world
2. Accuracy is a range of acceptable values
3. Factory calibration is different from a field calibration check
4. Accuracy of the instrument is based on each individual value compared to the standard, not an average of individual accuracy values
The Energy Conservatory’s New Gauge
About a year ago TEC did a survey of some of their key customers to find out exactly what they want in a digital pressure gauge. The results were not surprising: full color, touch screen and built-in WiFi were among the top features. They took the feedback they received and started working on a new gauge. Their goal was to create something unique, versatile, rugged and future-proof, and with their customers’ valuable input, they designed their new gauge.
The new gauge features include a full color touch screen,built-in Wi-Fi and communication ports, landscape orientation, field replaceable and rechargeable batteries, and is compatible with all TEC products.
You can learn more about this soon to be released product at energyconservatory.com.
Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange: Audience Segmentation and Analysis Strategies for Targeted Marketing
September 24, 2015; 12:30-2:00 ET
Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange: Incorporating Energy Efficiency into Multi-family, Affordable Housing Rehabilitation Projects
September 24, 2015; 12:30-2:00 ET
Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange: Passive House Testing with Kevin Brennan of the Passive House Academy
September 29, 2015; 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange: On-Bill Financing: Reducing Cost Barriers to Energy Efficiency Improvements
October 8, 2015; 1:00-2:30 ET
Better Buildings Residential Network Peer Exchange: You Are My Sunshine: Integrating Residential Solar and Energy Efficiency
October 15, 2015; 1:00-2:30 ET
To sign up and see other webinars coming up soon, visit our website here.
GREAT ENERGY TIDBITS
Installing Solar Panels is Cheaper Than You Might Think
Are Some Ceiling Fans More Effective Than Others?
Reduce Your AC Load Without Breaking A Sweat
Solar Powered Windows–Without Ruining Your View!