Energy Codes

Building Codes have been used in the United States since 1625 to improve the quality and safety of structures. Boston enacted the first code when it prohibited wood-burning fireplaces in buildings with thatch roofs. It seems common sense today, but it was probably somewhat controversial then.

Multiple Building code organizations had their proprietary Building Codes adopted by different states, counties, and cities across the United States. In the late 1990s, these organizations eventually merged into the present-day ICC (International Code Council). The 1980 Model Energy Code was established by one of those legacy code organizations. Residential construction was standardized with R-11 wall insulation, R-19 attic insulation, and extruded aluminum single-pane windows. HVAC did not have any efficiency rates at all, so it was a pretty basic Energy Code. No other code organizations had anything else like it, so it became the basis for the 2000 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code)

Regular ICC code versions are generated every three years, but this new 2000 IECC code had a lot of research and new technology to incorporate, so it was revised yearly to create the 2003 IECC. This code became widely adopted and then was modified on a three-year basis with all the other IRC (International Residential Code) and IBC (International Business Code) versions.

The IECC went through progressions for the 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and now the 2021 IECC. Each version incorporated changes in construction techniques and technology approved by the IRC and IBC to create a more energy-efficient structure. The 2009 and 2015 IECC became widely adopted versions of the Energy Code in most municipalities around the United States. The 2021 IECC addresses climate change in specific locations, solar array systems, and electrical vehicle charging in garages, to mention a few changes.

The 2021 IECC, both Commercial, and Residential, has many changes to consider. The use of Energy Modeling software has become essential to demonstrate code compliance. If Green Building Energy Sustainability (GBES) can help you evaluate your renovations, additions, and new construction, please give our staff of Engineers a call to start on your project. Our Office number is 940-808-1430.We have a dedicated phone for our Spanish-speaking clients. If we can answer questions or schedule an inspection, please call us at 682-246-8150