The International Code Council is leading the building industry to net zero
Cities and states, various sectors of the building industry, and the Biden administration have set strong targets to reduce the energy use and greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with commercial and residential buildings. The International Code Council, developer of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), recognizes the essential role energy codes play in reaching those goals. A new framework, Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate, ensures that both the IECC and the other resources the Code Council provides for governments and the industry adequately respond to the biggest challenges of our time.
This new framework provides a multi-pronged approach to deliver the energy efficiency and other GHG reduction strategies we need. The IECC is at the core of that approach. State and local governments across the U.S. and around the world look to model building codes like the IECC as the basis for their own codes governing the design and construction of buildings. While the adoption of codes is squarely in the purview of government, their development must incorporate feedback from stakeholders who are required to follow those codes and community members whose health, safety and welfare stand to benefit from their use.
The Code Council has been recognized as the trusted source for bringing together all interested parties to develop the model codes and other tools communities have relied on for decades — with roots dating back 100 years. To ensure the codes and tools that support energy efficiency continue to meet community needs, the Code Council recently announced a new development process for the IECC that includes an enhanced scope and intent that commits to providing requirements that meet zero energy and decarbonization goals. This new process allows for more in-depth scientific and economic deliberations, quicker progress to meeting public- and private-sector goals, and the development of a broader consensus that will support wider application and adoption.
Be part of the solution
The IECC’s success will be driven by those who participate in its development. The Code Council recently issued a call for committee members to give all interested participants an opportunity to shape the IECC’s future. State and local government officials will continue to have the strongest voice, with additional expertise sought across a diverse set of stakeholders. Stakeholders will continue to have the opportunity to weigh in by making recommendations to update the code and providing feedback on proposed changes.
To receive updates about the committee, the latest news and more, interested parties should sign up here to join the conversation.
The IECC is leading energy efficiency
Under its new scope and intent, the IECC will ensure that past progress in energy-efficiency improvements continues. Future editions will include pathways to achieve zero-energy buildings today and by 2030, and the ability to incorporate strategies for decarbonization, electrification and electric vehicle charging. Since 2006, the IECC has increased its efficiency requirements by about 40 percent, or an average of eight percent per cycle. The 2021 IECC is only 10 percent away from net-zero for residential buildings.
But the IECC cannot achieve energy efficiency on its own. Model codes like the International Codes are meant to create a cohesive system.
The Code Council is creating an ecosystem
Energy codes are not just about saving kilowatt-hours or reducing GHGs. Rather, they are part of an ecosystem of building policies that supports the health, safety and welfare of the communities that adopt them. The Code Council has been a leader in advancing resilient building codes and ensuring the industry continues towards net-zero. Now we need to band together and ensure we are effectively using and building upon the advanced solutions we have in place.