Code Calibration: Understanding What Energy Codes Can Really Achieve

Paper / July 28, 2010 / Codes And Policy

This paper observes that a key problem with current energy code practice is the difficulty in determining what level of performance the codes are delivering. Current energy code practice is based on estimated energy use of a theoretical sample of buildings that meet all code requirements. It goes on to suggest that a possible solution to many of these problems is to calibrate energy codes to actual building performance. By determining how buildings that are built to code are really performing, a wide range of new opportunities for code improvement becomes available.

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This paper observes that a key problem with current energy code practice is the difficulty in determining what level of performance the codes are delivering. Current energy code practice is based on estimated energy use of a theoretical sample of buildings that meet all code requirements. It goes on to suggest that a possible solution to many of these problems is to calibrate energy codes to actual building performance. By determining how buildings that are built to code are really performing, a wide range of new opportunities for code improvement becomes available. (excerpted from the forthcoming white paper from New Buildings Institute)