Utility Programs and Stretch Codes

Code & Policy / Advanced Buildings

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 aggregates 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 U.S. climate regions determine cost-effectiveness.

Advanced Buildings®

NBI uses its research to craft integrated, whole-building design guidance for small commercial buildings. Incorporating this guidance into voluntary utility programs 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 the New Construction Guide has been adopted as the prescriptive compliance path for the energy code in Boulder, Colorado. 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. 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 is improved. They also help accelerate 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