Utility Programs & Stretch Codes
Bringing energy codes to market often involves a comprehensive approach that starts years before a code is adopted by a local jurisdiction. NBI provides technical assistance through each stage of code development.
NBI contributes to the process by aggregating technical information from existing high performance buildings. Observed trends are translated into best practice energy conservation measures. These packages of measures are modeled in various climate regions in the United States to identify those that are cost effective.
NBI uses its research to craft integrated, whole building design guidance for small commercial buildings. Incorporating this guidance into voluntary utility programs in turn builds market capacity that allows these strategies to be moved into model stretch codes and then into national model codes. For example with NBI’s Core to Codes initiative, the Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide became the basis for the Massachusetts Stretch Code and then for major revisions to the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code. At that time the IECC increased in stringency by more than 25% over the 2006 edition.
Now that Core Performance is incorporated into various codes, NBI has continued the cycle with its successor, the Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide. An application of New Construction Guide has been adopted as the prescriptive compliance path for the Boulder Energy Code. The Boulder Energy Code requires a 30% improvement over ASHRAE 90.1-2010, making the New Construction Guide a part of the most stringent energy code in the country. Read more
Aligning Utility Programs with Codes
Many utility energy efficiency programs are beginning to consider opportunities to improve energy performance of buildings by incenting stretch code standards. See NBI poster presentation at the 2012 ACEEE Summer Study. Read More
State Stretch Codes
Stretch codes provide an opportunity to train the building and development communities in advanced building practices before the underlying energy code undergoes improvements. They also help accelerate the market acceptance and adoption of more stringent energy efficiency codes in the future. Several states are successfully using stretch codes to improve building efficiency. Read More