Resource Guides

Energy code compliance often requires more than a list of basic requirements. In many cases, additional information is needed to better understand the intent of and need for energy code provisions. This critical need for information can help clarify the code intent, empowering those who effectively design and construct buildings to meet code, as well as those who conduct plan reviews and inspections to verify compliance. This helps to assure the intent behind the energy code is implemented in practice.

To address these needs, the U.S. Department of Energy Building Energy Codes Program has developed a number of guides available to support the model building energy codes. Each resource guide focuses on a particular practice or key stakeholder group, and provides guidance on common challenges, best practices, and related resources. Resource Guides can also be customized for use within individual states or localities.

Air Leakage

Cover of Meeting the Air Leakage Requirements of the 2012 IECC

Meeting the Air Leakage Requirements of the 2012 IECC provides a resource for understanding the new requirements in the 2012 IECC to limit air leakage through a building's thermal envelope, and guidance on how to meet these new requirements. It also provides information from Building America's Air Sealing Guide, best practices, and case studies on homes that currently are meeting the requirements. Finally, it provides information critical to understanding how to conduct a required blower door test to assess the actual air leakage rate of the home, report the results, and validate energy code compliance. To enhance the connection of the information to the relevant codes, the 2012 IECC and relevant 2012 International Residential Code requirements are referenced throughout the guide.

Architects and Designers

Cover of Commercial Buildings for Architects Resource Guide

The Commercial Buildings for Architects Resource Guide provides key energy code information tailored for architects, and was designed in partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA). It offers guidance on how architects can support adoption of new or updated energy codes, and resources needed to enable compliance with the adopted code. The guide includes information on the importance of architects in the development and compliance verification processes, the interface between codes and the design process, design and compliance tools, and building construction and commissioning. It also includes many other resources to help architects understand the important role that the design process of energy codes plays in addressing our energy, economic and environmental challenges.

Beyond Code

Cover of Going Beyond Code

Going Beyond Code: A Guide for Creating Effective Green Building Programs for Energy Efficient and Sustainable Communities is designed to help state and local governments design and implement successful "beyond code" programs for new commercial and residential buildings. The goal is to help states and localities establish voluntary or mandatory programs that go well beyond traditional minimum code requirements for new buildings. The guide addresses keys to successful adoption and implementation and discusses the primary areas that are typically included in beyond code or green building programs, including energy efficiency materials and resource conservation, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and site development and land use. Detailed descriptions and analysis of actual programs are discussed, including lessons learned and best practices. States and localities can use the information on local programs, model codes and standards, and the model energy efficiency criteria for residential and commercial buildings to find the best approach for their jurisdiction to develop and implement an effective beyond code program.

Code Officials

Cover of Building Energy Codes Resource Guide: Code Officials Edition

The Building Energy Codes Resource Guide: Code Officials Edition, designed in partnership with the International Code Council (ICC), is a coordinated collection useful resources for code enforcement officials. The guide includes practical resources for those conducting plan review and field inspections, including BECP's REScheck™ and COMcheck™ quick reference guides, case studies, and sample inspection checklists. It also includes information from and about ICC's commentaries, workbooks, and code companion materials. Many other helpful items and links to further resources available on the web also are included. Code official associations, and state and local jurisdiction agencies responsible for code administration and enforcement can easily add state and local guidance to this guide for a one-stop resource to support compliance in the field. Code officials also can subscribe to the BECP code official mailing list to receive notices on any updates to the materials included within the guide

Download the Residential section only.
Download the Commercial section only.

HVAC Controls

Cover of HVAC Controls Guide for Plan Examiners and Building Inspectors

The information in the HVAC Controls Guide for Plan Examiners and Building Inspectors will make it easier to understand, apply, and validate compliance with heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) control requirements found in building energy codes .HVAC controls are a key driver of building performance from both energy and comfort standpoints, the latter of which impacts productivity, sales, and the general success of the activities in the buildings. Ensuring compliance with HVAC control requirements in the energy codes can be a challenging task; controls can be difficult to identify on plans and their proper installation and functionality are a challenge to assess in the field. The guide addresses requirements defined by the 2009 and 2012 IECC and the 2007 and 2010 editions of ASHRAE Standard 90.1, which are common bases for codes adopted by state and local jurisdictions.


Cover of Lighing Development, Adoption, and Compliance Guide

The Lighting: Development, Adoption, and Compliance Guide provides information for anyone dealing with a lighting energy code or standard. It provides background and development information to help readers understand the basis for requirements and their intent. The guide also provides detailed explanations of the major types of requirements such that users can more effectively design to meet compliance while applying the most flexibility possible.


Policy Makers

Cover of Building Energy Codes Resource Guide for Policy Makers

The Building Energy Codes Resource Guide for Policy Makers provides key information on energy codes tailored for policy makers and provides guidance on how they can support the adoption of new or updated energy codes and the resources needed to ensure compliance with what is adopted. The guide includes information on the power of energy codes; the importance of policy makers in the adoption and compliance verification processes; an information toolkit; examples of how states have adopted energy codes, and many other resources that are key to helping policy makers understand the important role energy codes play in addressing our energy, economic and environmental challenges.