Flexibility for the Future

2021 IECC: Ready and Resilient | 2021 IECC: Commercial | 2021 IECC: Residential

As energy codes continue to advance, flexibility is becoming an increasingly important feature. The requirements that are effective for all buildings in all climate zones are limited. Conversely, there are many potential requirements that are very effective, but only in some climate zones or some building types or some building designs.

Flexibility provides a solution. By including multiple options that may be highly effective in some situations but not in others, the code can offer increasing energy efficiency while providing projects flexibility to choose the path to efficiency that works best for that project. This is at the heart of Section C406 in the commercial section of the energy code.

The following proposals advance the flexibility of both the commercial and residential parts of the energy code. They allow the code to improve the energy efficiency of buildings without adopting requirements that are not appropriate for all projects.

C406 Points Option: The current additional efficiency package options (C406) are all considered equal in the 2018 IECC; however, there is a great deal of variation in the energy savings. This proposal modifies the options requirement to introduce a point system that reflects the different savings potential (based on an analysis of the options by PNNL) of the different options based on climate zone and building type. This modification makes C406 more flexible and effective and allows for the addition of more options.

Flex Points Additional Energy Efficiency: This proposal creates a “flex points” requirement similar to the mandatory efficiency options in C406 of the commercial section of the energy code. The proposal outlines additional efficiency options, each worth points depending on saving potential. Projects are required to achieve a certain number of points with several options that cover all aspects of building performance provided.

Contact Amy Cortese, NBI director of programs, at [email protected], with any questions.

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