Washington, D.C. — Building on a multi-year, industry-wide effort to include an outcome-based pathway for energy compliance into the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), the National Institute of Building Sciences has introduced a similar proposal to be considered for inclusion in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) (CE37-16). The International Code Council (ICC) Committee Action Hearings to review proposed changes to the IECC Commercial Building Provisions begin April 22 in Louisville, Ky.
Code departments are under increased pressure to enforce a myriad of code requirements — often with fewer personnel and resources than in the past — all while communities continue to address sustainability and decreased energy use goals. Yet, until the outcome-based pathway was added to the IgCC, code provisions addressing the energy efficiency of commercial buildings have only focused on design-based solutions or component-level improvements.
While these provisions ultimately result in some level of energy savings in the aggregate, their resultant savings in actual operations is often unknown. Industry goals to improve energy efficiency and ultimately achieve zero-energy buildings are predicated on actual, measurable results — results that design-based solutions alone cannot deliver. By adding the outcome-based pathway to the existing prescriptive and performance pathway options, communities and design teams have a means to determine compliance — not just on the results anticipated by a building’s design and construction, but on the actual, measured results from a year of operations. The outcome-based provision in the 2015 IgCC and the Institute’s proposal for the IECC both focus on overcoming the gap between design and operations (in both new construction and retrofits) and seek to institutionalize the importance of measurable results.
The proposal for this new pathway in the IECC also includes a new method to regulate building department requirements post-occupancy — the Post Occupancy Verification Permit.
In addition to the National Institute of Building Sciences, an assortment of industry representatives, including the New Buildings Institute (NBI), Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and National Insulation Association (NIA), are in support of the proposal.
The Institute has a number of tools currently available to learn more about outcome-based pathways at http://wbdg.org/resources/outcomebasedpathways.php.