Development is the process of updating energy-efficiency codes and standards for buildings. These updates can be in response to advances in building products, science, and/or construction practices. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), through the Building Energy Codes Program (BECP), supports this development process by participating in the development of model energy efficiency codes and standards maintained by the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE. DOE activities of interest to code development stakeholders and the public include DOE code change proposals, analysis of building energy efficiency gains through proposed changes, and underlying evaluation methodologies. DOE strives to cost-effectively reduce energy consumption through participation in model energy code development for both commercial and residential buildings.
Model building energy codes and standards address both residential and commercial buildings. Analyses, and the resultant proposed revisions, are also generally separated by these two building types. The process defined under Regulations & Rulemaking is used to develop building energy codes for federal buildings and manufactured housing.
DOE Participation in Development of the IECC
DOE seeks to advance energy efficiency in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by strengthening the code where cost-effective, and improving the criteria to be more easily understood, applied, implemented and enforced. DOE publishes its proposed changes on the web pages linked below before submitting to the ICC to allow interested parties to provide suggested revisions, enhancements to and comments.
Commercial buildings are classified as all buildings other than low-rise residential buildings, including multi-family high-rise residential buildings over three stories in height above grade. Commercial development to improve the energy efficiency of these buildings takes place through the ICC International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
Residential buildings are classified as any site-built building that is a one- or two-family attached or detached home or a multi-family residential building that is not over three stories in height above grade. Residential development to improve energy efficiency of these buildings through model codes and standards takes place primarily through the IECC.