Launch of Code on a Mission Challenge

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Launch of Code on a Mission Challenge

This week, the International Code Council launched its “Code on a Mission” challenge which aims to have over one-third of the U.S. population covered by the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) by the end of 2023.

As you know, the 2021 IECC saw significant improvements over the 2018 edition. At the same time, with the zero-energy building goals set forth by the U.S. Administration for new construction by 2030 and 2050 for all buildings, heightened pressure is being placed on governments and elements of the building industry to address the need to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs).

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has determined that that the residential provisions of the 2021 IECC provide a 9.4% improvement in energy use and an 8.7% improvement in carbon emissions over the 2018 IECC, saving homeowners an average of $2,320 over the life of a typical mortgage. Since 2006, the IECC has provided an approximately 40% improvement in energy efficiency, meaning that residents in states and cities on older IECC editions would see far greater savings. Energy codes continue to be an essential tool in achieving energy efficiency and GHG reduction goals and we are urging national, state and local governments to join the Code Council in this challenge.

We are challenging both the building industry and communities alike to update their building energy codes to meet or exceed the requirements of the 2021 IECC.

In support of the Code on a Mission challenge, the Code Council has developed a suite of resources:

We want to thank our members and stakeholders in advance for your support in helping us meet this goal and encourage all members to learn more about the campaign.

Supporting Organizations

 

Code Change Proposal Submittals Open for the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code and Chapter 11 International Residential Code

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Code Change Proposal Submittals Open for the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code and Chapter 11 International Residential Code

The International Code Council is currently accepting code change proposals for the development of its 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code (IRC). As established through our recently released energy efficiency framework, Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate, the 2024 IECC will be updated using the Code Council's American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved standards process.

As part of the 2024 development process, code change proposals will be asked to include an assessment of cost effectiveness in accordance with the intent statement of the IECC and shall consider any changes to the code as they impact the building owner, occupants and the energy system as a whole. Additionally, the Residential Energy Code Consensus Committee and Commercial Energy Code Consensus Committee shall adhere to the Code Council Board approved intents and scopes outlined in the framework.

Participation from various stakeholders in an equitable, accessible and responsive environment is key in developing a consensus standard that all of society will find impactful.

Therefore, we urge all interested parties from building safety professionals to government officials and concerned citizens to submit a code change proposal and engage in the development process.

Code change proposals will be accepted until 11:59 pm PT on October 12th. To submit a code change proposal, please visit the new energy only version of cdpACCESS:

Additionally, we are seeking public input on an electric vehicle (EV) charging resource, the first in a series of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission resources as outlined in the framework. Covering residential, commercial and multifamily applications, the resource provides communities flexibility in determining the best combination of EV-Installed, EV-Ready and EV-Capable spaces. Our staff draft is based on input from stakeholders, code change proposals considered for the 2021 IECC and policies already implemented in some jurisdictions. It also captures information on approaches states and localities have already taken to help support other jurisdictions considering use of the language and provides communities with model language coordinated with the I-Codes to help achieve additional GHG reductions.

Comments on the EV resource are due by 11:59 pm PT on August 16th.

For additional information on the Code Council’s energy initiatives, the framework and related FAQs, visit www.iccsafe.org/energy.

An Open Letter to Building Safety Professionals

We extend our condolences to all those affected by the recent Surfside, Florida, building collapse. And, we want to extend our deep appreciation to the first responders who were there in the immediate aftermath of the collapse and spent days searching for survivors. Our hearts and our gratitude are with you.

Building safety is a tough job. No matter your role – code official, architect, engineer, builder, tradesperson, or manufacturer – your job contributes to safe spaces for us to live and work. The work can be challenging and is often overlooked by the public. We want to take the time to say thank you all for the hard work you do.

When devastating incidents occur, our daily work is placed under a microscope. With the recent tragic collapse, the work you do may be under increased scrutiny. Your role as a building safety leader is more crucial than ever at this time as you guide the public, demonstrate integrity, and maintain professional competence. In your role, you ensure that tragedies like the Surfside condominium collapse are an extremely rare event.

The job of a building safety professional is hard, and often unnoticed and unappreciated, but it has a powerful impact on the world. Never forget that you are part of a community that is committed to creating safe, affordable, and sustainable buildings and communities. As always, we are here to support you; your fellow building safety professionals are here to support you as well. Even in the toughest of circumstances, we can work together to take lessons learned from tragic incidents like this and prepare for a more resilient future.

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Greg Wheeler, CBO
President
ICC Board of Directors

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Dominic Sims, CBO
Chief Executive Officer
International Code Council

Building Collapse in Surfside, Florida

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Building Collapse in Surfside, Florida

We are deeply saddened by the news of the building collapse in Surfside, Florida, last night. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected and to the rescue crews working hard to identify survivors.

As Florida officials continue to investigate this tragedy, the International Code Council will support Florida in any way it can. We understand this incident will likely spur additional inspections throughout the area, and the Code Council will share information with its network of code officials and inspectors should Florida need additional support.

The building that collapsed was built in the 1980s. Since Hurricane Andrew hit the state in 1992, Florida has adopted a rigorous code adoption and enforcement process. In fact, Florida has one of the strongest building codes in the U.S., which is based on the International Codes. As noted in the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s Rating the States 2021 report, Florida is ranked number one among the 18 states along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for building code adoption, enforcement, and contractor licensing.

In times like this, we are reminded of the vital role building safety professionals play in making sure these incidents are rare while ensuring safe and sustainable communities. Together we will help Florida recover, and we will look to the lessons of the past to help us prepare for a better future.

International Code Council Appoints Committees to Lead Energy Code Development

International Code Council Appoints Committees to Lead Energy Code Development
The Code Council announced the committee members for the development of its 2024 IECC

Extensive Interest in IECC Development Committees

Thank you to everyone who applied for the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Development Committees. With nearly 350 applications submitted, we are greatly encouraged by the extensive interest in serving on these committees and immense support for advancing energy efficiency and building safety in our communities. The applicants represent:

  • All nine identified interest groups – government regulators, public segments, consumers, manufacturers, builders, standards promulgators/testing laboratories, users, utilities and insurance;
  • Federal, state and local government regulators;
  • 42 U.S. states and 14 climate zones;
  • Building safety professionals from many disciplines including code officials, architects, engineers, interior designs, energy raters, electricians, home builders, contractors and building owners; and,
  • Wood, masonry, steel, concrete, electrical, mechanical, water, insulation, HVAC, brick, fenestration and envelope manufacturers.

Next, the International Code Council Board of Directors will consider the nominations and appoint the committees. Committee members will be informed via email of their appointment. We anticipate the first meeting of the committees to occur in summer 2021.

Even if you are not a member of the IECC Committees, we encourage you to get involved in the development process. The IECC establishes the minimum set of requirements for energy efficiency used by communities around the world. Our communities need you to get involved to help guide the future of energy efficiency.

The Development Committees will establish work groups which will allow for greater deliberation or focus on particular topic areas. The work groups are open to all interested parties, not just committee members. Additionally, anyone can submit a code change proposal to the committee and the committee will produce a draft document for public comment once the change proposals are acted on by the committee

Learn more at www.iccsafe.org/energy.

Apply to serve on the 2024 IECC Development Committees

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The application period for the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Development Committees is now open.

Committee members are an essential component of updating the IECC, the minimum set of requirements for energy efficiency used by communities around the world. Our communities need talented, dedicated, and experienced individuals to help guide the future of the IECC.

Applicants should represent at least one of the nine identified interest groups – manufacturers, builders, standards promulgators/testing laboratories, users, utilities, consumers, public segments, government regulators and insurance.

Considerable effort, hard work, and commitment to the scope and intent of the IECC is expected of each committee member. Applicants should be prepared to fully participate in the committee’s work including multiple meetings a month and responding to committee correspondence if they are appointed. Committee members will serve for a period of approximately three years.

Most meetings will be held virtually. For in-person meetings, Code Council governmental member representatives are authorized to travel at ICC’s expense. All others are responsible for funding their participation on this committee.

Applications are due by Friday, April 23, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. PT. Please contact Mike Pfeiffer, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, at mpfeiffer@iccsafe.org with questions.

Learn more at www.iccsafe.org/energy

A New Day in Advancing Energy Efficiency

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A New Day in Advancing Energy Efficiency

Yesterday the International Code Council Board of Directors voted to move forward with a new framework to assist governments and building industry stakeholders in meeting energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Thank you to everyone who shared their feedback with the Code Council. We heard your concerns and incorporated them into this plan.

This framework – called Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate – includes moving the development of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to a standards process.

The Board determined that for the IECC a standards development process would allow for additional time for debate, additional avenues to reach consensus, and a continuous maintenance cycle to facilitate the IECC's ability to keep up with the pace of changing technology, which collectively will strengthen the code and its adoptability. Future editions of the IECC will build on prior successes including an increase of efficiency requirements by about 40%, or an average of 8% a cycle from 2006 to 2021, allowing the IECC to remain a strong avenue for communities to reach their energy efficiency and sustainability goals globally

The IECC will be developed under a revised scope and be part of a portfolio of greenhouse gas reduction solutions that could address electric vehicles, electrification and decarbonization, grid interactivity/efficiency, existing buildings performance standards and more. The framework will serve as a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to support the needs of communities, building on the Code Council’s strong foundation of technical solutions provided by the IECC, International Residential Code and International Green Construction Code.

Under a standards development process, the IECC will be developed by committees that represent diversity across nine interest categories and assure representation from a diversity of jurisdictions, experiences in building types and energy efficiency strategies, and geographies. Recognizing the important role of governments in the adoption and use of the IECC, the framework ensures that government officials continue to have a leading voice. One third of committee membership and the voting committee chairs will represent the government regulatory category.

In addition, the Code Council’s new framework will provide optional requirements aimed at achieving net zero energy buildings presently and by 2030. The Code Council will also establish an Energy and Carbon Advisory Council of governmental and industry leaders to inform the Code Council’s efforts.

The Code Council remains committed to assisting communities in meeting their energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction priorities, and educating its members regarding the new process. Our staff will work closely with members, chapters, and stakeholders to ensure everyone interested understands how to get involved in the process.

A call for applications for the development committees will go out in March. In addition, the Code Council will begin outreach in March to fill the Energy and Carbon Advisory Council.

For additional information:

Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency

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Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency

Codes and standards are a critical component in reducing energy use and combating the impacts of a changing climate. For over four decades, the International Code Council and its legacy organizations have led the development of energy codes that have reduced the impact of energy use on the planet and saved consumers billions of dollars.

In January, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce contacted the Code Council to request information about its code development process and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Today we released information to the Committee that explains our role in helping communities around the world become more energy efficient. Download our response here.

We’d like to share a few important themes from our response with you:

  1. The Code Council’s development processes have resulted in the most widely adopted set of model building codes. Our open, transparent, and rigorous process drawing on expertise across stakeholders results in strong consensus, buy-in, and support for code adoptions used to ensure safe, affordable, and sustainable buildings and communities worldwide.
  2. The Code Council has numerous partners in various sectors of the building safety industry and publicly discloses the membership of its Codes and Standards Development Committees. No Code Council partner, including home builders, exerts disproportionate control over our development processes.
  3. The Code Council’s IECC has achieved significant energy efficiency improvements. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the 2021 IECC is expected to be over 43% more efficient for residential buildings and 39% more efficient for commercial buildings than the 2006 IECC. The baseline efficiency requirements in the 2021 IECC are only 10 percent away from the 2021 IECC’s zero energy appendix for residential buildings.
  4. The Code Council is committed to providing code officials, policymakers, and the construction community with the tools necessary to meet their energy objectives. We are committed to providing tools for communities seeking to achieve net zero construction by 2030 or 2050 as well as those seeking to incorporate electric vehicle charging, renewable energy, and other policy objectives into their construction standards.
  5. The Code Council is considering whether to move from a code development process to a standards development process for the IECC in order to strengthen the code and its adoptability. If the IECC is developed as a standard, it would be updated using the Code Council’s Consensus Procedures, which comply with ANSI’s Essential Requirements and prevent dominance by any interest category. The standards development process would allow for additional time for debate and put the IECC on a continuous maintenance cycle to allow for more timely consideration of rapid advancements in technology.

As long-standing leaders in developing energy efficient communities, we welcome the increasing conversations in the public space about the impacts of energy use on our future. And, we continue to welcome feedback from all stakeholders. Please submit your questions and concerns to memberinput@iccsafe.org.

Next Steps for the IECC

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Next Steps for the IECC

Last Thursday the International Code Council Board of Directors met to hear verbal testimony from members and stakeholders in regard to potentially transitioning the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) from a code development process to a standards development process. The Code Council develops both consensus model codes and standards depending on the nature and need of the subject. Thank you to all those who took the time to share valuable feedback, both written and verbal. The board is reviewing all the commentary and will meet again in a few weeks to continue deliberations. No decision has been made yet.

Due to the extensive interest in this topic, we’d like to share some additional information about the Code Council's role in supporting energy efficiency through codes and standards.

  • For over three decades, the Code Council has developed an energy code that has reduced the impact of energy use on our planet and saved consumers billions of dollars on their energy bills. From 2006 to 2021, the IECC increased its efficiency requirements by about 40%, or an average of 8% a cycle.
  • In addition to the IECC, the Code Council develops the International Green Construction Code (powered by ASHRAE standard 189.1) and the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, which provide additional requirements for communities looking to create more sustainable, resilient and high-performance buildings.
  • The proposed framework for transitioning to a standards development process put forth by the Code Council board is the result of input from many parts of the building safety industry. The idea originated from the Appeals Board and the Board Committee on the Long Term Code Development Process (Blue Ribbon Committee), which included a diverse array of building safety professionals. The intent of the proposal is to strengthen the IECC and its adoptability.
  • Even with the consistent progress of the IECC, many stakeholders, including code officials, have expressed concern about the IECC development process and the outcomes over the past decade.
    The Code Council's overarching goal for the IECC and every code it develops is to see it adopted, regularly updated and properly enforced which, in the IECC’s case, is critical in order for communities to fully benefit from the energy efficiency gains the code outlines.
  • Governmental decision makers balance multiple, often competing, interests in adopting building codes, including safety, efficiency, cost effectiveness and affordability. The Code Council’s consensus process strives to achieve this balance. In doing so, we are mindful of the importance of efficiency gains to achieve climate goals and the importance of housing affordability.
  • The Code Council works with many organizations and interests. We appoint qualified representatives of the industries that use and rely on the codes, such as representatives of industry trade associations, structural engineers, members of the fire service, architects and others, to some of our code development committees. Representatives from these industries go through the same application, review and approval process as all others who apply or are nominated for committee seats.
  • All interests have a voice and many opportunities to participate in the codes and standards development processes.

The discussion over the IECC’s development has also prompted interest from the U.S. Congress. Last Wednesday, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce contacted the Code Council to request information about its code development process and the IECC. The letter recognizes that the “IECC is an important element of national energy policy and a major tool in our efforts to address climate change.” The Code Council appreciates the Committee’s interest and welcomes the opportunity to engage policymakers at all levels of government on the importance of adopting and effectively implementing up-to-date building codes.

As the Committee acknowledged, codes and standards play an important role in advancing energy efficiency and responding to a changing climate. In his first days in office, President Biden has made it clear that the new U.S. administration will prioritize tackling the climate crisis with building energy codes as an important component of that work. The Code Council is committed to helping our communities advance energy efficiency, and we look forward to working closely with Congress and the new administration.

Thank you again to everyone who has contributed to our process thus far. We continue to welcome all feedback. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to memberinput@iccsafe.org.