NBI’s Code Proposals Clear First Hurdle

Model energy codes that require 30% better efficiency just got a step closer to reality. NBI’s major energy code proposal, EC 147, was approved on a 6-5 vote last Friday (October 30) at the IECC Code Development Hearings in Baltimore, Maryland.The proposal, which codifies much of the Core Performance protocol and several addenda to ASHRAE 90.1-2007, would increase the IECC’s efficiency standards for commercial buildings.  NBI along with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submitted the comprehensive proposal last June. The unprecedented vote came after an hour of testimony by Dave Hewitt and others. Over 20 people spoke in favor of the NBI/AIA/DOE proposal. Later in the day, support grew for higher efficiency energy codes with the adoption of NBI/AIA proposals on the opaque envelope tables by a 9-2 vote and on the fenestration table by 11-0. As the code development process continues, NBI, AIA and DOE will work over the next six months to address industry concerns raised during the hearings. After a national open comment process, we expect to have an improved proposal which would represent the largest ever single step increase in commercial building energy model codes. This proposal will be presented for final adoption at the ICC Final Action Hearings in October 2010 with an anticipated effective date of January 1, 2012.