Reuters reports that US building officials nationwide have voted to support the first building codes that require 30 percent more efficient buildings for every state under the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.
Delegates also voted to eliminate the weaker Energy Chapter of the International Residential Code, supplanting it with a single nationwide uniform energy code for residential and commercial buildings.
Although some states, like California, have long had energy efficiency requirements in building codes, with a resulting flat-lining in home energy use in the state since the 1970s (to about half the average US use) most states have little or no requirements for reducing energy use. The International code has been the lowest common denominator; compelling safety, but little else in building codes. The minimum standards allowed energy to be wasted in heating and cooling homes in non compliant states by not requiring weather tight walls, roofs, windows or doors.
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“It is notable that the votes that will have the most profound impact on national energy and environmental policy this year weren’t held in Washington or a state capital, but by governmental officials assembled by the International Code Council (ICC) in Charlotte, NC,” said William Fay, Executive Director of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition.
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