International Energy Conservation Code Changes Coming Soon

All projects obtaining building permits on or after October 3, 2016 will be required to comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), 2016 New York State Supplement to the 2015 IECC, and the 2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code. It is important to note that there are significant changes to the Code, along with new sections, that raise the bar on the minimum requirements buildings need to meet for compliance. Many of the changes are a response to the increasing popularity and changing practices within the industry relating to green construction, integrated design, and improved building performance.

On July 13, 2016, Joanne Maddox Kinslow and Nicolette Havrish took advantage of a day-long course hosted by the Urban Green Council and NYSERDA titled “Conquering the Energy Code for Commercial Architects and Engineers” where they brushed up on the changes that will impact commercial building design & construction with the changes to the codes.

Of the many changes that were outlined during the course, some significant ones include changes in minimum requirements for mechanical efficiencies, changes in minimum requirements for roof insulation, new requirements for fuel burning appliances, new mandatory requirements for service water heating, new electrical energy consumption requirements and new requirements for electrical transformers and motors. There are also comparable changes that residential projects are required to meet, which were beyond the breadth of the one-day course.

The list above is by no means comprehensive of all the IECC changes that might impact your upcoming commercial projects. If you are working on a code review or life safety analysis for an upcoming project, please be familiar with these changes and check with your architect or engineer to ensure you are meeting the new requirements.