Volume 49, Issue 7 - July 2014

Energy&Environment

New Energy Codes Are Gaining Traction—Changes to be Put in Place

Energy codes and building performance requirements are here to stay—and will likely only become stronger—bringing increasing demands for those in the fenestration industry. A big part of these building requirements will be impacted by the new green building codes, which incorporate green concepts such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, but are written in a code format instead of a points system. For example, the ASHRAE 89.1-2011 and 2014 codes, as well as the 2012 and 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), take into account site selection, water use, material use/recycled content, energy efficiency, renewable energy, indoor environmental quality and commissioning/maintenance.

But according to Thomas D. Culp, president of Birch Point Consulting LLC, adoption and enforcement by local jurisdictions of the codes varies significantly across the country, as they can only be enforced on a county or municipality basis. But because the industry in general is trending more toward national code standards, he says structures in less stringent areas won’t necessarily be devoid of many of the features the codes require.

“Even where code enforcement is lax, these changes will still be seen in specifications and product offerings,” he says.

Culp says the new green codes shouldn’t be the norm for all buildings “but can be the basis for publicly-funded buildings and tax credits.”

For example, the U.S. Army is using ASHRAE 189.1 for its worldwide
facilities, and on a state level, Maryland has required its state buildings
to use the IgCC. Several states and cities have also adopted IgCC as a
voluntary stretch code.

AAMA Forms Sustainability Steering Committee
The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) established a sustainability steering committee to oversee its various committees and task groups involved in standard practices that lead to product sustainability. “This decision reflects the vital strategic importance that AAMA believes sustainability-related issues have to the fenestration and glazing industry, and to AAMA members’ businesses,” says Mark Silverberg, president of Technoform North America Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, who co-chairs the steering committee with Kevin Gaul, director of legislative and regulatory affairs for Pella Corp. in Pella, Iowa.

Gaul adds, “We want commercial and residential builders, specifiers, architects, incentive program providers and homeowners to be fully informed of the many benefits of incorporating the technologically advanced fenestration products available today into sustainable buildings’ designs.”

 


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