Achieving a More Meaningful Assessment of Commercial Building Code Compliance

Commercial energy codes and compliance are critical tools for increasing efficiency in new commercial buildings. However, assessing commercial energy code compliance can be a complex and costly endeavor. In addition, previous studies that included a narrow emphasis on a binary assessment of code compliance fail to provide meaningful feedback that could be used to design better code initiatives and more effective enforcement efforts. This webinar described two recent studies that have attempted to develop a deeper and more meaningful assessment of commercial building code compliance.

The first study conducted by PNNL tries to answer the question: “How much energy cost savings can be achieved through better compliance?” A field investigation method was developed, which goes beyond the binary approach, to determine lost savings due to non-compliance. Prototype building simulations were used to estimate the energy cost impact of varying levels of non-compliance for nine newly constructed office buildings and field data collected was applied to the simulation results to find the potential lost energy savings for a single building and for a sample of buildings. The additional energy cost savings these buildings could have achieved had they fully complied with the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code was determined.

The second study conducted by Ecotope argues that evaluating codes should be directed at the perennial need to understand and improve the construction of new buildings. Code compliance as a singular goal is too narrow to warrant the level of energy and resources required to obtain reliable commercial building data and that improved energy performance should be the salient outcome of energy codes. Findings from a recent code evaluation pilot designed to test an integrated, empirically-based methodology to evaluate compliance and energy performance in fully constructed and occupied commercial buildings is presented. The objective is to determine how new commercial buildings are actually being built, what level of code compliance is achieved, and how that compliance influences energy use.

Estimated Length: 
90 minutes
Michael Rosenberg, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Poppy Storm, Ecotope
Original Webcast Date: 
Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 1:00pm
Time Zone: 
Eastern Time
CEUs Offered: 
AIA/CEC credits were offered for the live event on October 13, 2016
Course Type: 
Building Type: