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News from Codes for Climate
On May 20, New Buildings Institute (NBI) and RMI submitted comments in response to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Resilient and Efficient Codes (RECI) Request for Information (RFI). The response was co-signed by eight additional organizations that support reducing building sector emissions in alignment with broader ambitions for climate action. 

We view the role of DOE as critical to this work. The scale of investment potential and technical support provided nationally will be key to advancing building decarbonization across the U.S. The Codes for Climate team welcomed the opportunity to provide input into the design of funding opportunities to ensure that full lifecycle decarbonization, health impacts, equity, and economic co-benefits are considered in future project collaborations.

View the full submission here, and please reach out to us if you are interested in future collaboration in this area.
Codes and Standards Development Updates

The International Code Council (ICC) residential and commercial code development process for the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is underway.

The 2024 IECC subcommittees have been meeting to evaluate code change proposals. Over the past month, the full consensus committees approved several NBI code proposals, including:

  • CEPI-138 was approved by the full Commercial Consensus Committee. In the 2021 IECC, energy monitoring is required for buildings 25,000 sf or larger. This proposal requires buildings 10,000 sf or larger to install energy monitoring equipment so that building owners can better track energy consumption and meet the requirements of future benchmarking and disclosure ordinances and building performance standards. 
  • CEPI-229 was approved by the full Commercial Consensus Committee. This proposal requires retrocommissioning when new water heating systems or mechanical systems are installed in existing buildings. Buildings on average reduce their energy use by 12% after retrocommissioning is performed. 
  • CECPI-5 was approved by the full Commercial Consensus Committee. This proposal is a consensus proposal developed by Architecture 2030, NBI, Solar Energy Industry Association, 2050 Partners, and Edison Electric Institute. The proposal is a revision to the commercial net zero building appendix.
  • CEPI-140 was approved by the full Commercial Consensus Committee. This proposal requires the installation of monitors to track the energy used by electric vehicles (EVs). By separately tracking the energy used by EVs, building owners can better understand and manage the overall energy use in buildings. 

  • REPI-68 was approved by the full Residential Consensus Committee requiring cool roofs for Climate Zones 0-3. A cool roof is a relatively inexpensive energy conservation measure to passively reduce cooling load in warmer regions. Cool roofs strongly reflect sunlight and efficiently radiate heat away from the roof surface therefore additionally reducing the urban heat island effect.
  • REPI-158 was approved by the full Residential Consensus Committee. This proposal requires documentation for renewable energy installation. This confirms that renewable energy certificates (RECs) will be properly tracked to the owner of the system.  
  • REPI-163 was approved by the full Residential Consensus Committee. This proposal updates the Energy Rating Indexes for the Zero Home Appendix to a level that almost meets the Passive House standard. These efficiency improvements means the Zero Energy Homes will require less overall energy, reducing the size of renewable energy systems needed and increasing occupant comfort. 
  • REPI-145 was approved by the full Residential Consensus Committee. This proposal requires duct testing for large existing building alterations. This will remedy existing buildings that have poor functioning ductwork, leading to increased occupant comfort. 

NBI also led a working group to provide feedback to the DOE proposal CEPI-193, which was approved by the full Commercial Consensus Committee. CEPI-193 adds 22 energy savings measures to Section C406 and creates a separate requirement for grid integration and renewable energy measures. The code proposal is expected to reduce building site energy use by 7%.

The status of key NBI-submitted proposals from past months’ consensus committee meetings is available here. For more information about upcoming meetings, see the ICC Codes and Standards calendar.
Federal, State and Local Action Updates

On April 27, DOE hosted a webinar on Section 40511 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which included an overview of the codes-related provisions in the IIJA, recent and related work, and answers to frequently asked questions. Slides from the webinar are available here.  

On May 11, the Colorado legislature passed HB 22-1362, which requires local governments to update their building energy codes to the 2021 IECC or equivalent with electric- and solar-ready requirements beginning in July 2023. Read more here.
Codes for Climate In the News

New Resources
NBI’s Model Government Zero Emissions Policy provides model language and considerations for jurisdictions to lead by example and develop a zero emissions government asset portfolio. 

Download the policy here.