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Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: March 2011
Focus: Compliance
Automatic shutoff capability for all interior building lighting (with exceptions) is required by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 (as well as previous versions back to 1999) and the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (including versions back to 2003) for buildings over 5,000ft2.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date:
Focus: Compliance
The 2009 International Residential Code and International Energy Conservation Code do not permit trade-offs for installing high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment—installing a 90%+ furnace as a trade-off for 2" x 4" stud walls with R-13 insulation. The more permanent building insulation and sealing features now take precedence. However, there still remain optional strategies allowing 2" x 4" exterior stud walls.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code requires openings in the building envelope to be sealed to prevent air leakage into and out of the space, including an air barrier at insulation installations.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: October 2011
Focus: Compliance
Converting a basement to conditioned space increases the living space of a house. As with most construction activities, the conversion or remodeling must be done in compliance with construction codes in force at the time the remodel permit is issued. Compliance shall be demonstrated by meeting the requirements of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: December 2011
Focus: Compliance
Converting an existing unconditioned garage to conditioned space is a popular strategy for increasing the living space of a house. Typically, the conversion or remodeling must be done in compliance with construction codes in force at the time the remodel permit is issued. Compliance shall be demonstrated by meeting the requirements of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2012
Focus: Compliance
A demand control ventilation (DCV) system is an integral part of a building’s ventilation design. It adjusts outside ventilation air based on the number of occupants and the ventilation demands that those occupants create
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
Codes allow crawlspaces with mechanical ventilation instead of crawlspaces with passive vents to the outdoors. However, code officials and builders are often uncertain about the design details.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
Metal or plastic drywall clips can be used to replace a third stud at a corner, at a partition intersection backing stud, or in the ceiling to replace a nailer. The reduced attachment (wood to drywall) resulting from the use of dry wall clips allows small movements without drywall cracking and nail pops.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2012
Focus: Compliance
Duct insulation and sealing, especially insulated supply ducts delivering conditioned air within a building, save energy. The intent of energy efficiency codes, as related to duct insulation and sealing, is to keep mechanically warmed or cooled air as close to a constant, desired temperature as possible and prevent the conditioned air from escaping the duct system while it is being moved to spaces where it is needed. If reduced heat transfer through insulated ducts is accounted for in the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) load calculations, it may even be possible to reduce the size of HVAC equipment.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2009
Focus: Compliance
Many studies have shown that visual inspection of duct seals in residences is not enough. Code now requires a pressure test. Pressure testing ducts as required by the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code is far superior to visual inspection and will definitively confirm that duct leakage is kept to a low level.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: July 2011
Focus: Compliance
The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code defines conditioned space as an area or room within a building being heated or cooled, containing uninsulated ducts, or with a fixed opening directly into an adjacent conditioned space. Various studies have identified compelling reasons for locating all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts and air handlers within this conditioned space.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires cooling systems in commercial buildings to have economizers, depending on climate zone and cooling system capacity. Economizers save cooling system energy by using outdoor air to cool a building when outdoor conditions are favorable.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
Headers for windows and doors are typically supported by cripples or jack studs. These studs can be eliminated using header hangers, as allowed under the International Residential Code.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2009
Focus: Compliance
Lighting consumes more than 10% of electric energy used in homes, presenting a substantial opportunity for lowering residential energy consumption. The International Code Council recently passed a code change that will appear in the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and the International Residential Code requiring that half of the permanent lighting in a new home have high-efficacy lamps.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2012
Focus: Compliance
The intent of the pipe insulation requirements is to reduce temperature changes while fluids are being transported through piping associated with heating, cooling or service hot water (SHW) systems, thereby saving energy and reducing operating costs.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2012
Focus: Compliance
The intent of the pipe insulation requirements is to reduce temperature changes while fluids are being transported through piping associated with heating, cooling or service hot water (SHW) systems, thereby saving energy and reducing operating costs.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2012
Focus: Compliance
Kitchen and dining facilities use a large amount of energy per floor area. Kitchen exhaust hoods contribute greatly to that energy use. Energy is used both to operate fans and to heat and cool makeup air that is then exhausted.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: October 2011
Focus: Compliance
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 and the commercial provisions of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code require that the building envelope be carefully designed to limit uncontrolled air leakage into and out of the building.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
The use of header stock over windows and doors in nonbearing walls is typical construction practice throughout the industry. But a single two-inch by four-inch board is allowed to be used as a header in non-load bearing wall systems..
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, Section 403.2.2, requires that duct systems be pressure tested, or all ducts and air handlers be located in conditioned space. Building cavities used to convey return air located over a crawlspace or next to an unconditioned space would be required to be tested.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2012
Focus: Compliance
Over the past several code cycles, mechanical ventilation requirements have been added to ensure adequate outside air is provided for ventilation whenever residences are occupied. These ventilation requirements can be found in the International Residential Code for homes and the International Mechanical Code for dwelling units in multifamily buildings.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
The 2006 and 2009 International Energy Conservation Code require sizing calculations be performed on every home by referencing International Residential Code Section M1401.3. Section M1401.3 requires heating and cooling systems be sized to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Manual J - Eighth Addition or other approved heating and cooling load calculations. The ACCA sizing methodology has sufficient built-in safety factors to accommodate most conditioning needs.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Rigid board insulation (foam plastic) is an effective draft stop, while providing part of the required R-value of the attic kneewall, if installed on the attic side of the kneewall.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Focus: Compliance
A single top plate is allowed under the International Residential Code, but it is not a common construction practice. The standard practice for exterior and interior wall framing is using a double top plate to connect wall segments, and to support framing above the plates.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: July 2009
Focus: Compliance
The appropriate treatment of task lighting for energy code compliance has always been a potentially confusing issue. The intent of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 (as well as previous editions back to 1999) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) (including editions back to 2003) is for task lighting to be included in compliance calculations when it is part of the lighting design. This applies to office spaces where task lighting is common, as well as other spaces where task lighting may appear in various forms.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: October 2011
Focus: Compliance
Adequate attic ventilation is a long-standing requirement in building codes for moisture control. However, unvented attics can reduce residential energy needs, and are allowed by the code under certain conditions.Section R806.4 of the 2009 International Residential Code® (IRC), and Section R806.5 of the 2012 IRC have requirements for unvented (conditioned) attic assemblies.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
ASHRAE modified its ventilation procedure to reflect more current data available on indoor air quality. The Standard was developed under American National Standards Institute guidelines and released in 2004: ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Condensing dryers can be useful in situations where the laundry room is located a significant distance from an exterior wall to which it can vent. By eliminating long dryer vent runs, they eliminate possible moisture condensation problems in that run.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2012
Focus: Compliance
The intent of the vestibule requirement is to reduce infiltration of air into a space, thereby addressing energy conservation and comfort issues for occupants located near primary entrance doors. The majority of infiltration comes through primary entrance doors that are typically used to access public areas, and have higher usage rates than doors classified for personnel use. Vestibules can reduce the infiltration losses (or gains) from wind and stack effects by creating an air lock entry.
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: December 2011
Focus: Compliance
ASHRAE Standard 62.2 defines the roles of and minimum requirements for mechanical and natural ventilation systems to achieve acceptable indoor air quality. This material supplements requirements contained in the model energy codes with respect to mechanical ventilation systems.