Energy Code Compliance

Energy codes are becoming increasingly more complicated to achieve. These dramatic changes are being driven by our federal  government’s determination to reduce energy costs in new construction by 50% in just three code cycles: 2009, 2012 and 2015.

D.R. Nelson & Associates can take you through the maze of new mandatory requirements. We can guide you through ALL of your options for compliance – from permit submittals to compulsory new construction techniques, through testing and certification requirements – everything that you need to bring your project from the drawing board to the closing sale.

You have the choice of three paths to energy code compliance:

Prescriptive
This method is the simplest; construct with the minimum R-Value/U-value requirements listed in the table for your climate zone.

UA Alternative
This method allows more flexibility as you can increase or decrease the R-value/U-value requirements for each component as long as the total U-Value x Area is equal to or less than the total of the Prescriptive home. Beginning with IECC 2009 important new restrictions were included in this compliance option.

Simulated Performance
This method is the by far the most flexible and cost-effective path to energy code compliance. D.R. Nelson & Associates has been a pioneer in this method since its introduction in the 1993 energy code.

Although it is complicated with many documentation requirements, we will take you through the whole process beginning with plan analysis through testing requirements and Certificate of Occupancy. We have more than 100 builder clients including several of our nation’s largest production builders. If this is the only home you will build this year or you plan to build 300 or more homes, we can provide everything you need for cost-effective energy code compliance.

Why is our government doing this?

  • The Department of Energy has calculated that buildings are the single largest user of energy by sector.
  • The DOE has set a goal of a 50% reduction in energy use in all new buildings by the code year 2015.

Achieving this goal will:

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Increase energy savings for the homeowner
  • Reduce carbon emissions

Ignorance of energy codes is no defense against responsibility (liability).

We recently started working with a builder client who contacted us after a civil court determined they were in violation of the energy code. Their construction VP told us how it happened: The builder applied for and received a building permit. They constructed the home and passed all required inspections. They received a C of O and closed the sale of the home. The homeowners moved in and after several months occupancy became concerned about the energy efficiency of the home. The homeowners investigated the energy code in effect at the time of construction and realized that their home did not meet that code even though the building department approved all permits and issued a C of O.  The city building department was not aware of the requirements of the new energy code yet the court found the builder responsible!

We will not let that happen to you.

It is said the knowledge is power. We have the knowledge that will give you the power to choose the methods of compliance that are best for your project. Contact one of our building science professionals today to guide you through your options for compliance.