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Code Informational Session November 13, 2013. Introduction to the IECC 2012 Energy Code. Agenda. The wonderful world of Acronyms. ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers ICC International Codes Council

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Code Informational Session November 13, 2013

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Code informational session november 13 2013

Code Informational Session

November 13, 2013

Introduction to the iecc 2012 energy code

Introduction to the IECC 2012 Energy Code

Code informational session november 13 2013


The wonderful world of acronyms

The wonderful world of Acronyms

ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers

ICCInternational Codes Council

IECC International Energy Conservation Code

IRC International Residential Code

DOER Department of Energy Resources

HERS Home Energy Rating

DOEDepartment of Energy

Iecc and ashrae codes


  • ICC & ASHRAE develop model building codes and standards for the US.

  • ICC: publishes IECC energy code

    • 3 year cycle IECC 2009, IECC 2012, IECC 2015

  • ASHRAE: publishes 90.1 standard

    • 3 year cycle 90.1-2007, 90.1-2010

The world of codes

The World of Codes

  • 1980’s through 2006

    • Minimum codes were truly minimal

    • DOE pushed for marginal improvements (1% to 3% per cycle)

    • DOE proposed (successfully) a major rewrite of the IECC in 2004 (became the 2006 IECC)—emphasis was format, not stringency

  • 2009 to present

    • The world has changed

  • ICC/DOE working from two goals

    • 30% improvement in 2012 IECC (relative to 2006)

    • 50% improvement in 2015 IECC (relative to 2006)

What in the world has changed

What in the world has changed?

  • What is driving the changes to the code:

    • Public interest

    • Political will

    • Pull at ICC

  • What in the world has changed?

    • More efficiency making it into codes

    • More detail/complexity being pushed onto code officials

    • More need for expertise and analysis tools in code process

    • Less distinction between code, beyond-code programs

Massachusetts energy code history

6th edition of the building code had a MA specific energy code

7th edition adopted IECC 2006

Commercial bldgs. ASHRAE 90.1-2004

8th edition adopted IECC 2009 on July 1, 2010

Roughly 10-15% more efficient than IECC 2006

Commercial bldgs. ASHRAE 90.1-2004 remains

Also in 2010 the edition of the “Stretch Code” appendix

IEC C 2012 was adopted on 7/1/2013

Designed to be 30% better than IECC 2009

Stretch Code

IECC 2015 coming soon….

Massachusetts Energy Code History

Iecc 2012

IECC 2012

What was added with iecc 2009

What was added with IECC 2009

Lighting added to IECC scope (at least 50% of lamps must be ―high efficacy)

Mandatory duct system pressure test

Insulation R-Values increases

No equipment-envelope trade-offs

12% to 15% better than 2006 IECC

2012 iecc overview

2012 IECC –Overview

Approximately 30% more efficient than the 2006 IECC

Now constitutes (by reference) the energy chapter of the International Residential Code (IRC)

Retains 2009 IECC’s prohibition on envelope-equipment tradeoffs

Contains a few major and many minor changes

Structure of the 2012 iecc

Structure of the 2012 IECC

Ch. 1 Scope and Application / Administrative and Enforcement

Ch. 2 Definitions

Ch. 3 General Requirements

Ch. 4 Residential Energy Efficiency

Ch. 5 Referenced Standards


Scope of section r101

Scope of Section R101

  • Defines Residential Buildings as:

    • One- and two-family dwellings, townhouses of any size and R-2, R-3, R-4 ≤ 3 stories

    • All buildings that are not “residential” by definition are “commercial”

    • Includes additions, alterations, renovations and repairs

  • Existing buildings

  • Buildings designated as historic

  • Very low energy use buildings [<3.4 Btu/h-ft2 or 1 watt/ft2]

Scope section r101 additions

Scope Section R101- Additions

Treat as a stand-alone building

Additions must meet the prescriptive requirements in Table 402.1.1 (or U-factor or total UA alternatives)

Scope section additions alterations renovations repairs

Scope Section - Additions, Alterations, Renovations, Repairs

  • Code applies to any new construction

  • Unaltered portion(s) do not need to comply

  • Additions can comply alone or in combination with existing building

  • Replacement fenestration that includes both glazing and sash must meet

    • U-factors in all Climate Zones 2-8

Climate zones for the 2012 iecc

Climate Zones for the 2012 IECC

Scope section r101 additions alterations renovations repairs exceptions

Scope Section R101 - Additions, Alterations, Renovations, Repairs-Exceptions

  • Storm windows over existing fenestration

  • Glass-only replacements

  • Exposed, existing ceiling, wall or floor cavities if already filled with insulation

  • Where existing roof, wall or floor cavity isn’t exposed

  • Reroofing for roofs where neither sheathing nor insulation exposed

  • Insulate above or below the sheathing

  • Roofs without insulation in the cavity

  • Sheathing or insulation is exposed

  • Lighting alterations if:

    • <50% of luminaries in a space are replaced

    • Only bulbs and ballasts within existing luminaries are replaced (provided installed interior lighting power isn’t increased)

Scope section r101 space conditioning

Scope Section R101 - Space Conditioning

  • Any non-conditioned space that is altered to become conditioned space shall be required to be brought into full compliance with this code

  • Examples:

    • Converting a garage to a family room

    • Heating an unfinished basement

Scope section r101 mixed use buildings

Scope Section R101 - Mixed Use Buildings

Treat the residential occupancy under the applicable residential code

Treat the commercial occupancy under the commercial code

Overview of code structure

Overview of Code Structure

Climate-Specific Requirements:

Mandatory Requirements (apply everywhere):

Infiltration control

Duct insulation, sealing, and testing

HVAC controls

Piping Insulation

Equipment sizing



  • Roofs

  • Above grade walls

  • Foundations

  • Basements

  • Slabs

  • Crawlspaces

  • Skylights, windows, and doors

Overview of iecc 2012 residential code requirements

Overview of IECC 2012 Residential Code Requirements

Focus is on:

Building envelope ceilings, walls, windows, floors, foundations

Sets insulation and fenestration levels, and solar heat gain coefficients

Infiltration control - caulk and seal to prevent air leaks, and test

Ducts, air handlers, filter boxes – seal, insulate, and test

Limited space heating, air conditioning, and water heating requirements

Federal law sets most equipment efficiency requirements, not the I-codes

No appliance requirements

Lighting equipment – 75% of lamps to be high-efficacy lamps or 75% of lighting fixtures to have only high-efficacy lamps



IECC Terminology

  • Prescriptive, UA/U-Factor and Performance

  • Mandatory requirements

    • Required and cannot be traded down, even in the simulated performance path

  • Some elements have “hard limits”aka, “trade-off limits”

    • a prescriptive requirement that can only be traded so far

    • performance requirements can only be traded so far

Iecc compliance three options

IECC Compliance - Three Options

Code compliance tools

Code Compliance Tools

Overview of the 2012 energy code

Overview of the 2012 Energy Code

The 2012 code requires a better envelope, insulation, ducts, windows, mechanical and more efficient lighting than the 2009 code.

2012 iecc major changes

2012 IECC Major Changes

  • Duct leakage rates lowered

  • Domestic hot water piping must be either

    • Insulated to R3, or

    • Short and skinny (i.e., exempted lengths depend on diameter)

  • Eliminated ―leakage to outdoors option for ducts

    • From 12 to 4 CFM/100sf CFA (after construction)

    • From 6 to 4 CFM/100sf CFA (at rough-in)

  • Various R-value/U-factor/SHGC improvements

2012 iecc major changes1

2012 IECC Major Changes

  • New mandatory whole-house pressure test (blower door) with stringent required leakage rates

    • Zones 3-8: ≤ 3 ACH @50 Pa

    • Address fireplaces and recessed lighting fixtures

Air tightness requirements

Air Tightness Requirements

  • Compliance

    • The 2012 code provides a lot of leeway to the local inspector; according to the code, “Where required by the code official, an approved third party shall inspect all components and verify compliance.”

    • Reference Table R402.4.1.1 for requirements


Building envelope specific requirements

Building Envelope Specific Requirements

Building Envelope consists of:




Above grade

Below grade

Mass walls




2012 iecc major prescriptive envelope changes

2012 IECC –Major Prescriptive Envelope Changes

Insulation verification

Insulation Verification

  • R-values are to be printed on the batt insulation or rigid foam board.

  • Blown-in insulation must have an insulation certificate at or near the opening of the attic.

  • The certificate should include:

    • R-value of installed thickness

    • Initial installed thickness

    • Installed density

    • Settled thickness/settled R-value

    • Coverage area

    • Number of bags installed

  • Insulation markers must be installed every 300 square feet and be marked with the minimum installed thickness and affixed to the trusses or joists.

2012 iecc fenestration changes

2012 IECC-Fenestration Changes

Mandatory requirements mechanical systems

Mandatory Requirements Mechanical Systems

  • Controls-At least one programmable thermostat/dwelling unit

  • Heat pump supplementary heat

  • Ducts

    • Sealing (Mandatory)

    • Insulation (Prescriptive)

  • HVAC piping insulation

  • Circulating hot water systems

  • Ventilation

  • Dampers

  • Equipment sizing-Heating and cooling equipment shall be sized according to Manual S based on loads calculated according to Manual J

  • Pools and in ground permanently installed spas

  • Snow melt controls

Duct sealing and insulation

Duct Sealing and Insulation

Duct Sealing

Duct Insulation

Supply ducts in attics: R-8 (Attic)

All other ducts: R-6 (Basement, Crawlspace, Exterior Wall,)

  • Mandatory test 3 cfm ACH@50

    • Rough in and post construction tests

  • Adopts testing widely used by Stretch Code / Energy Star Homes

  • Not required if located within conditioned space

  • Framing cavities cannot be used as ducts or plenums

Lighting equipment

Lighting Equipment

  • A minimum of 75% of the lamps in permanently installed lighting fixtures shall be high-efficacy lamps or 75% of permanently installed lighting fixtures to contain only high efficacy lamps.

  • “Lamps in fixtures”

  • Exception:

    • Low-voltage lighting

      • Use specified lighting

High efficacy lighting and compliance

High Efficacy Lighting and Compliance

  • The residential lighting provisions in the 2012 IECC are relatively simple.

    • At least 75% of the lamps in permanent light fixtures must be high-efficacy, defined as:

      • T8 or smaller-diameter linear fluorescent lamps,

      • Or lamps such as CFLs, LEDs or Pin Based Lamps with a minimum efficacy of:

        • 40 lumens/W for <15W

        • 50 lumens/W for 16-40W

        • 60 lumens/W for >40W lamps

      • Chandelier example



  • The building shall be provided with ventilation that meets the requirements of the IRC, IMC, or other approved ventilation.

  • Minimum efficacy:

    • Range hoods 2.8 cfm/watt

    • In-line fans 2.8 cfm/watt

    • Bathroom fan (10-89 cfm) 1.4 cfm/watt

    • Bathroom fan (90+ cfm) 2.8 cfm/watt

What about mechanical ventilation

What about mechanical ventilation?

  • Although the 2012 IECC includes provisions to improve a home’s air tightness, it provides little on whole house ventilation, however the 2012 IRC does include requirements for mechanical ventilation.

    • A typical home will require about 15 cfm per person of fresh outdoor air to be distributed by continuous mechanical ventilation to meet the requirements of the code.

    • The new code requires homes in zone 5 achieve 3 ach50, the code effectively mandates a whole-house mechanical ventilation system.

    • This can be accomplished with a centrally located quiet exhaust fan, an interconnected system to the air handler, HRV/ERV or a combination of devices.

Eave baffles

Eave Baffles

  • For air permeable insulations in vented attics, baffle

  • Installed adjacent to soffit and eave vents

  • To maintain an opening ≥ size of vent

  • To extend over top of attic insulation

  • May be of any solid material

Stretch code vs iecc comparison

Stretch Code vs. IECC Comparison

Typical Existing Home

Std New Home

IECC 2006

IECC 2009 ~ HERS 90

Stretch Code

< 3000 sq ft - HERS 70

> 3000 sq ft - HERS 65

IECC 2012

~ HERS 70

Residential incentives

Residential Incentives

Almost the same as the Stretch Code/IECC 2012

Approx 30% of new homes in MA

Builder incentives/rebates

$750 - $7000 for SFD

$350 - $4,000 for MF

HERS raters

$700 - $900 SFD

$250 - $550 MF

Additional Equipment Rebates

Appliances – up to $50 (low income)

Heating – up to $1,500

Water Heating – up to $800

Cooling – up to $500

Lighting – free CFLs

Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program

Iecc 2012 bottom line code compliance

IECC 2012 Bottom Line Code Compliance

Every new home built will need to be tested with a blower door, have a strategy to stop thermal bridging, need more insulation, a tighter envelope, better windows, tighter ducts, right sized mechanical systems, more efficient lighting and mechanical ventilation.

Stretch code appendix 120 aa

Stretch Code Appendix 120.aa

What is the stretch code

What is the Stretch Code?

  • Affects the energy code only

  • Amendment to the MA base energy code

    • Residential Construction:

      • 15-20% more energy efficient

    • Commercial:

      • 20% more energy efficient

  • The Stretch Code is similar to the 2012 IECC



The Stretch Code is new and experimental

The Stretch Code requires tight unhealthy homes

The Stretch Code requires foam insulation

The Stretch Code requires mechanical ventilation

Homes with oil heat cannot meet the Stretch Code

Town residents will be required to update their existing homes

What does the stretch code apply to

What does the Stretch Code Apply to?

  • Same application as the MA base energy code

    • Insulation

    • Doors, Windows, Skylights

    • Mechanical Equipment

    • Lighting

    • Appliances

    • Building tightness

    • Duct tightness

    • Renewables

What does the stretch code apply to1

What does the Stretch Code Apply to?

  • Residential

    • Additions

    • Home Renovations

    • New Construction

  • Commercial (5,000+sq/ft)

  • New Construction

  • Additions

  • Renovations Exempt

  • Additions and renovations prescriptive or performance path

    Additions and RenovationsPrescriptive or Performance Path

    • Prescriptive Path

      • ENERGY STAR Windows, Doors and Skylights

      • Tight Ducts – completely new duct systems only

      • Contractor Verified Thermal Bypass Checklist

    • Performance Path

      • Whole house HERS Rating

        • Renovations:

          • HERS 85 < 2,000 sq ft.

          • HERS 80 ≥ 2,000 sq ft.

        • Additions:

          • HERS 70 < 3,000 sq ft.

          • HERS 65 ≥ 3,000 sq ft.

    New homes performance path

    New HomesPerformance Path

    • Performance is the only option

      • HERS 70 < 3,000 sq ft.

      • HERS 65 ≥ 3,000 sq ft.

    • HERS Rating Company

      • Review building plans

      • Thermal bypass Checklist

      • Blower-door and duct testing

    Code informational session november 13 2013

    Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index

    Internal Revenue Service

    U.S. Department of Energy

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Mortgage Industry

    Massachusetts Base Code - Alternative Path

    Mass Save Residential New Construction Program

    New HomesPerformance Path

    Code informational session november 13 2013

    Governed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)

    Technical Standards

    Testing Procedures

    Quality Assurance

    Continuing Education

    Code of Ethics

    Complaint Resolution

    New HomesPerformance Path

    Cost of the stretch code

    Cost of the Stretch Code

    Commercial stretch code


    Commercial stretch appendix

    Commercial ‘Stretch’ Appendix

    • New buildings and additions over 5,000 ft2, renovations fall to the base code

    • Two Options (depending on size)

      • Performance option - 20% below ASHRAE Code

      • Prescriptive option for most building types

      • 5,000 - 100,000 ft2

    • Special Code Exemptions (comply with base code) for laboratories, manufacturing, etc.

    Stretch code compliance inspections

    Stretch Code Compliance & Inspections

    Same as base code

    Code Official has the same authority

    Same building inspections

    Approves building documents

    Future of the stretch code

    Future of the Stretch Code

    • The MA base energy code will update in 2014

    • The Stretch Code will update too

      • More energy efficient

      • No details yet

      • Automatic Adoption

    Training on new energy codes

    Training on new energy codes

    Covering both the IECC 2012 & Stretch code

    Provided free to all Code Officials

    Provided at cost to building professionals

    Register online:

    Energy star homes training available for free:

    Utilities offer commercial ‘Core Performance’ energy training



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