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Code Informational Session November 13, 2013

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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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the wonderful world of acronyms
The wonderful world of Acronyms

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

ICC International Codes Council

IECC International Energy Conservation Code

IRC International Residential Code

DOER Department of Energy Resources

HERS Home Energy Rating

DOE Department 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
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
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
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




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.
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.

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
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

Governed by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)

Technical Standards

Testing Procedures

Quality Assurance

Continuing Education

Code of Ethics

Complaint Resolution

New HomesPerformance Path

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