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Energy Codes and
by J.W. Mollohan, CCPR, CEP, CSI
Photo courtesy Dryvit Systems Inc.
IN LIGHT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S
GOAL OF IMPROVING THE ENERGY
EFFICIENCY OF NEW AND EXISTING
BUILDINGS, MODEL ENERGY CODES ARE
BECOMING MORE STRINGENT.
The effort to increase energy efﬁciency has been further
emphasized by initiatives set forth by the 2009 American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s State Energy Program,
and a congressional mandate that all states, must
comply, at a minimum, with the American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers
(ASHRAE) 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except
Low-Rise Residential Buildings, no later than October 18,
2013. The most recent update to ASHRAE 90.1 is the
standard on which the 2012 version of the International
Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is based. 1
Building enclosures and IECC
As might be expected, IECC gives considerable attention
to the building enclosure’s insulation levels. The code
divides the United States into eight Climate Zones
and establishes speciﬁc requirements for the type,
amount, and placement of insulating materials—cavity
and continuous—in the exterior enclosure.
For exterior walls, the 2006 IECC requires both
insulation in the stud cavity and continuous insulation
(ci)—usually either board stock or sprayed polyurethane
foam (SPF) outboard of the exterior sheathing for
commercial steel-framed wall assemblies in Climate
Zones 5 to 8. In 2009, IECC expanded the requirement
for ci to include Climate Zones 3 and 4 and increased
the required amount of ci in Zones 5 and 6. It now
prescribes the use of exterior ci in nearly 90 percent
of the country.
40 the construction speciﬁer | june 2013
5/16/13 11:17:19 AM