Publications

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Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: March 2011
Focus: Compliance
The 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) envelope requirements are not coupled to the home''s glazing area percentage. A home with modest glazing area, say 13% of floor area, will likely require a more efficient envelope for 2006 IECC compliance. Conversely, a home with larger glazing area, say 20% of floor area, may achieve 2006 IECC compliance with less insulation.The 2006 IECC also implemented a new climate zone system. The system introduced more homogeneity across climates, resulting in less variation in the envelope requirements from location to location. Therefore, some locations have slightly different (higher or lower) efficiency requirements under the 2006 IECC than under the previous codes.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
AreaCalc is a tool to simplify the process of calculating the building areas needed to demonstrate energy code compliance. A spreadsheet-like interface is used to calculate window, door, skylight, roof, wall, and floor areas. These areas can then be transferred directly into REScheck™ where the code compliance results for those assemblies can be displayed.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Eliminating unnecessary wood framing within walls can increase the thermal efficiency of the wall system. Less framing allows more insulation to be installed and also eliminates hot and cold spots (from thermal bridging through the frame) within the wall system.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Many homes are being constructed with unfinished basements to reduce initial costs. In most cases, the homeowner eventually finishes the basement for additional living space by installing basement wall insulation. Because most basements are eventually occupied, the advantages and disadvantages of conditioning the basement should be thoroughly reviewed prior to permitting and construction.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Traditional crawlspace designs include passive foundation-wall vents that are supposed to let moisture and contaminants escape outside. Yet field research shows that wall vents may make moisture problems worse.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: March 2011
Focus: Compliance
Calculating the areas of the building components (e.g., windows, doors, exterior walls) is easily the most time-consuming step in energy code compliance. This article contains some helpful hints for calculating area takeoffs.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
There are many areas for air leakage, including exterior doors, windows, floors, and foundations. In addition, places such as electrical boxes and plumbing fixtures can be areas for air leakage. It is important to seal air leaks before insulating.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance, Residential
Residential basement insulation levels should be selected in accordance with the International Energy Conservation Code, or the local energy code. Be sure to insulate both the masonry and stud walls of daylight basements.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: March 2011
Focus: Compliance
Insulation should be installed to fill the entire cavity. REScheck™ uses nominal insulation R-values. The assemblies listed in REScheck already have a default value added for standard sheathing (depending on the assembly component).
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Older calculation requirements limited REScheck™'s computations for log walls, but standardized calculations have allowed a REScheck to expand (starting with version 3.7.1). The calculations are much more detailed and specific to each wood species. The most noticeable change is an improvement in the calculation accuracy and usability of the software.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
A study that assessed the energy-related characteristics of over 160 buildings planned for construction in and after 2001 showed that the majority of newly constructed commercial buildings in the United States already meet or exceed ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1989 standard for envelope requirements.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 and the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code include requirements for interior and exterior lighting in new construction, additions, and alterations for all commercial buildings, including residential structures with four or more stories above grade.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Adequate attic ventilation is a long-standing requirement in building codes. However, conditioned, unvented attics have the potential to reduce residential energy needs and are allowed by code under certain conditions. Such assemblies are sometimes called cathedralized attics because, as with cathedral ceilings, the insulation is in the rafters and/or roof deck.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Ducts and air handlers should be placed in conditioned spaces when possible. Ducts typically lose substantial amounts of energy from both conduction and leakage; keeping them in a conditioned space minimizes the impact of these losses. Ducts inside a conditioned space must be properly sealed, but are not required to be insulated.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
The prescriptive envelope component criteria (Section 502.2.5) in the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is an alternative compliance path for sunrooms and additions to existing residential buildings and structures. Sections 402.2.10 and 402.3.5 in the 2006 IECC list requirements for sunrooms.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
There are three approaches to make an addition comply with the energy code:
  • The addition as defined above meets all code requirements. This approach does not require that the original portion of the building meet code requirements.
  • If the building combined with the addition complies with the code, the addition will also comply, regardless of whether the addition complies alone. For example, a sunroom that does not comply with the code is added to a house. If the entire house (with the sunroom) complies, the addition also complies.
  • In the 2000 and 2003 International Energy Conservation Code, additions less than 500ft2 (46.5m2) of conditioned floor area may meet the prescriptive envelope requirements in the table. To use the table, the total area of windows, doors, and skylights cannot exceed 40% of the gross wall and roof area of the addition.
This document describes how to use REScheck™ to comply with approach #1.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
This article provides details on the control, efficacy, and power density requirements for exterior lighting in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 and the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code .
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Insulation installed in a suspended ceiling does not meet the infiltration requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code. When the insulation is on the suspended ceiling, the ceiling is defined as part of the building envelope. This requires that it be air-sealed like any other envelope component.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
The effectiveness of insulation is measured by its R-value - the resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating value. The recommended amount of insulation depends on the building design, climate, price of energy, and cost of materials and labor. Choose insulation materials based on the installed cost per R-value per square foot.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
Revisions and additions in the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 affect most new building designs. These requirements are mandatory and cannot be traded away, but options and exceptions are provided to meet the needs of various building and space types and activities. The requirements are categorized into two general areas: basic space control and automatic shutoff controls.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
The Building Energy Codes Program compliance tools -- COMcheck™, COMcheck-Web™, REScheck™, and REScheck-Web™ -- have the capability to upload and download files to and from the desktop and Web-based versions of the software you are using.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)have a long, intertwined history of development, starting with the original development of ASHRAE Standard 90-75 in direct response to the oil crisis in 1973, and continuing on to the latest documents.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
This article discusses building energy simulation software appropriate for use with the Energy Cost Budget method in ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and the Total Building Performance section of the International Energy Conservation Code.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
The sun is the main source of heat in all homes. By looking at how houses receive sunlight, site planners can help optimize how much solar energy is available to heat a house, and how much heat must be removed with air conditioning. In hot climates, site planners should use lot orientation to avoid solar gains in the summer.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
To have a building certified by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), architects and designers can use several tools to demonstrate that the building complies with various sustainable design requirements. The USGBC certifies the building through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. This is a voluntary, consensus-based performance rating system. This article discusses the software that may be used to verify compliance.
Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Focus: Compliance
The primary intent behind the requirement for a vestibule is to reduce infiltration into a space that includes doors with high volume of pedestrian traffic. Vestibules reduce the infiltration losses (or gains) from wind and stack effect by creating an air lock entry.