Publications

To receive updates about BECP publications subscribe to the BECP Mailing List.

Additional resources are also available from the Building America Solution Center.


Publication Date: July 2009
Page Focus: Compliance

The overall objective of the combined studies covered in this report is to provide the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) with residential new construction market assessments and baselines to help identify opportunities for increased energy efficiency in Vermont. This report summarizes the combined findings of a phone survey of 296 homeowners, on-site audits conducted at 106 recently constructed homes across Vermont, and in-depth interviews with 25 builders, nine HVAC contractors and ten insulation contractors.

Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: June 2008
Page Focus: Compliance

This study looked at seven building measures in both the residential and nonresidential sectors to learn how closely actual building practices adhere to newly adopted codes. Data were collected by reviewing permits and conducting verification site visits for a sample of building projects throughout the state. Key findings from this study include quantitative estimates of noncompliance rates for the seven measures, as well as qualitative information about some unexpected complexities associated with data collection efforts around building practices, both at building departments (during permit review) and at building sites (during inspection).

Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: June 2009
Page Focus: Compliance

The objective of this report is to assess the compliance of newly-constructed single-family homes with the Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES). This analysis is part of a broader study of the single-family residential new construction market in Vermont.

Document type: Compliance Tool
Publication Date: June 2012
Page Focus: Compliance

In supporting state energy code compliance evaluations, the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) has developed residential data collection checklists. The checklists are available for use as paper checklists or electronic Microsoft® Word® forms.

Guidelines for using the following checklists to evaluate state energy code compliance can be found in Measuring State Energy Code Compliance, Section 6.0.

The BECP also developed an online tool, the Checklist Score + Store (no longer supported). While overall compliance can be determined manually for individual buildings and groups of renovations, this tool provides automated building scores and state-wide consolidation of data. Individual building scores will remain confidential (available only to the state and their contractors), but storing data nationally will shed valuable light on nationwide compliance,...

Document type: State-specific
Publication Date: February 2019
Page Focus: Compliance

In early 2017, the Nebraska Energy Office expressed interest in evaluating the construction of new single-family homes in Nebraska using the US Department of Energy's (DOE) low-rise residential evaluation methodology. As part of that methodology, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was directed by DOE to analyze the data collected in Nebraska. This memorandum provides and discusses the results of PNNL's analysis.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: February 2007
Page Focus: Compliance

The primary goal of this paper was to review existing energy code evaluation studies, and make recommendations for future work in this area. The secondary purpose is to address this existing body of literature as it relates to the quantification of the savings gap, defined as the energy savings foregone due to non-compliance with the energy code adopted in a state or local jurisdiction.

Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: August 2012
Page 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
Page 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: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2004
Page Focus: Compliance

A study prepared for the Long Island Power Authority to analyze "new construction practices and market conditions from the summer and fall of 2003." The results of the study were used during the design of the Long Island Power Authority's New York ENERGY STAR Labeled Homes Program (NYESLHP).

Document type: Compliance Tool
Publication Date: January 2012
Page Focus: Compliance

This Quick Reference Guide will guide you, step-by-step, through a typical plan review process for energy code compliance and show how it can be conducted quickly and efficiently. The U.S. Department of Energy’s REScheck™ Compliance Software is designed to create simplified compliance certificates that can be easily reviewed by enforcement personnel.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: January 2006
Page Focus: Compliance

A report conducted by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) that "reviews state and utility programs aimed at stimulating the construction of highly energy-efficient new homes in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and Utah."

Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2011
Page 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: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: March 2007
Page Focus: Compliance

A study prepared for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance that "characterize ssingle-family residential new construction using a representative sample of buildings constructed in 2004 and 2005...The results will provide a baseline for ENERGY STAR® New Homes Northwest specifications."

Document type: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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
Page 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: Compliance Tool
Publication Date: September 2010
Page Focus: Compliance, Residential

This document contains sample survey questions designed for use by states wishing to conduct a survey of their building jurisdictions as one method of better understanding energy code compliance rates in their state.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: May 2007
Page Focus: Adoption, Compliance

The goal of the study was twofold: 1) to refine the original estimates made of noncompliance, initial market penetration, and naturally occurring market adoption rates by researching and analyzing the factors contributing to each parameter; and 2) to test the 2006 California Energy Efficiency Evaluation Protocols (Evaluation Protocols) as it applies to determining net savings resulting from Program activities.

Document type: Reports and Studies
Publication Date: April 2010
Page Focus: Compliance

This report explains Minnesota’s experience in demonstrating that it is possible to implement a code requiring tight construction, as long as provisions are included for ventilation and make up air to avoid the potential harmful effects of depressurization.

Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: July 2009
Page 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: Technical Support Document
Publication Date: September 2012
Page Focus: Compliance

This technical support document (TSD) is designed to explain the technical basis for the COMcheck software as originally developed based on the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989 (Standard 90.1-1989). Documentation for other national model codes and standards and specific state energy codes supported in COMcheck has been added to this report as appendices. These appendices are intended to provide technical documentation for features specific to the supported codes and for any changes made for state-specific codes that differ from the standard features that support compliance with the national model codes and standards. Beginning with COMcheck version 3.8.0, support for 90.1-1989, 90.1-1999, and the 1998 IECC and version 3.9.0 support for 2000 and 2001 IECC are no longer included, but those sections remain in this document for reference purposes.

Document type: Technical Support Document
Publication Date: November 2006
Page Focus: Compliance

This Technical Support Document describes the process and methodology for the development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for Small Office Buildings, a design guidance document intended to provide recommendations for achieving 30% energy savings in small office buildings over levels contained in ASHRAE Standard 90.1- 1999. This the first in a series of guides being developed by a partnership of organizations, including ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the New Buildings Institute, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Document type: State-specific
Publication Date: April 2015
Page Focus: Compliance

The State of Tennessee, Department of Commerce and Insurance, Division of Fire Prevention, previously sent a letter, dated July 18, 2013, to the U.S., Department of Energy certifying that it had adopted the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for one and two family dwellings and townhouses and non-State owned commercial buildings, and the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2007 for State buildings.

In that letter, the State of Tennessee sought an extension until March 31, 2015, to review and consider adoption of updated editions of the IECC and ASHRAE standards to comply with the certification requirements of Section 304(C) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  However, due to the current political environment and coinciding circumstances, the State of Tennessee requests additional time, specifically December 1, 2015, in which to adopt the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010.

...
Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: October 2011
Page 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
Page 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: State-specific
Publication Date: September 2012
Page Focus: Compliance, Enforcement

This Guide is designed to assist state and local code jurisdictions in achieving statewide compliance with the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential buildings and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 for commercial buildings.

Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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: Technical Articles
Publication Date: May 2009
Page 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.

Document type: Code Notes
Publication Date: June 2018
Page 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.

Pages