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Washington Residential Energy Code 2012: Overview. 17 December 2013 Ben Larson, Ecotope. Code History and Overview. WA Energy Code updated on three year cycle. Previous code was 2009. Current is 2012. Effective 1 July 2013 . http://www.energy.wsu.edu/BuildingEfficiency/EnergyCode.aspx

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Washington residential energy code 2012 overview

Washington Residential Energy Code 2012: Overview

17 December 2013

Ben Larson, Ecotope

Code history and overview
Code History and Overview

  • WA Energy Code updated on three year cycle. Previous code was 2009. Current is 2012. Effective 1 July 2013.

    • http://www.energy.wsu.edu/BuildingEfficiency/EnergyCode.aspx

  • Code format changed from WA own to layout of IECC. Most provisions from previous codes retained.

  • Energy codes set the new construction baseline for most efficiency measures

  • Presentation Overview:

    • Code Description and Provisions

    • Compliance Options

    • Energy Use and Savings

    • Setting the baseline for efficiency measures


Climate Zones now follow IECC designation. All counties in WA are 4M or 5 except for four counties in the north east:

Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille are IECC Zone 6

Of those, only Ferry is the PNW Heating Zone 3, the rest are HZ 2

Overall, little change in the base envelope requirements from 2009. Climate zone reassignment may have slightly relaxed the wall insulation requirement for the formerly WA Zone 2 locations


Additional requirements
Additional Requirements

  • Meet all of the prescriptive requirements and then obtain 1 point in 2009 and 1.5 points in 2012 from the following options:

Which options are selected
Which Options Are Selected?

  • This is a common problem – it exists for the OR code, the previous WA code, and for EnergyStar in the Northwest.

  • There is no certain answer to the question because any answer is a prediction.

  • A possible approach:

    • estimate builder option selection based on cost and current market saturations of heating systems, foundation types, and house sizes

Wa code over the years
WA Code Over the Years

Target:70% reduction in building energy use by 2031 per WA SB 5854

What about conservation measures
What about Conservation Measures?

  • New construction house characteristics (baseline) can now differ between houses

  • Scenario 1a: Ducts inside

    • Baseline house has Options 4 (ducts inside) and 5a (low flow fixtures)

      • A ducts inside efficiency measure has zero savings compared to this baseline

  • Scenario 1b: Ducts inside

    • Baseline house has Options 3b (heat pump upgrade) and 5a (low flow fixtures)

      • Adding ducts inside to this baseline house does produce energy savings

  • Scenario 2: Upgraded Heat Pump to HSPF 9.0

    • Baseline house has Options 3b (heat pump upgrade to HSPF 8.5) and 5a (low flow fixtures)

      • The savings from the measure is the difference between an HSPF 8.5 and 9.0 heat pump

  • Savings from any individual new construction efficiency measure is

    not guaranteed.

What is the best baseline
What is the Best Baseline?

  • For a given measure, the baseline changes and depends on what code path was selected.

    • HSPF 9.0 measure would have an HSPF 8.5 baseline.

    • Ducts inside measure has a ducts inside baseline (mostly)

  • To get reliable savings from measures in WA for new construction, they will need to be bundled and packaged up

Existing measure package examples
Existing Measure Package Examples

  • EnergyStar

  • Montana House

  • BuiltGreen

  • Eco-Rated and High Performance Manufactured Homes

Conclusion and recommendations
Conclusion and Recommendations

  • WA Residential Code improved 9-10% over 2009

  • Individual measures are challenged, including:

    • Heat pump upgrades, interior ducts, efficient DHW tanks, HPWHs, and showerheads

    • These UES measures need to be reexamined under the new baseline

  • Recommend avoiding individual measures in new construction in favor of packages

  • Existing EnergyStar needs revamp for WA

  • Other, additional packages can be created

  • Picking additional items off the options list can also form the basis of a conservation measure (scenario 1b)

Washington residential energy code 2012 overview

Additional Slides Follow

Ben Larson