Northeast Region

 This code compliance case study looks at the Wisconsin practice requiring design professionals to sign a statement of compliance at the completion of a building project. This practice requires that a design professional be involved not only with the plan review, but also during the construction process. 

This document breaks down the associated costs for important state-led activities which support energy code compliance over a 3 year period, distinuishing between small, medium, and large states.

This document takes a look at valuable state-led activities which support energy code compliance and identifies average associated costs over a 3 year period.


Considering that buildings in the U.S. represent 72% of all electricity consumption and 38% of CO2 emissions, national, state and local energy policy leaves a staggering amount on the table for the effective use of and adherence to building energy codes and standards. Despite this clear connection, compliance with building energy code requirements across the United States often goes unchecked. As a result, compliance rates in most states are very low. Advocacy to improve compliance with energy codes, through enforcement, has failed to take a holistic approach and has subsequently seen dismal results. However, as a condition of receiving energy funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, all states are required to achieve 90% compliance with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer for energy code enforcement. Varying state and local statutes, governing structures and political climates play critical roles in how and if energy codes are enforced. A holistic approach recognizes these varying influences and acknowledges that code officials have numerous codes to enforce with limited resources. This paper will address the following successful strategies that have proven effective in various states and local jurisdictions: (1) streamlining compliance processes, (2) third-party enforcement, and (3) advanced training.


 In the City of Austin, Texas, which had grown to nearly 800,000 residents by 2010, the adoption and implementation of a requirement for third-party testing to verify compliance with energy codes in new residential buildings has bolstered energy efficient residential construction. The process of designing and adopting a third-party testing requirement has generated awareness among developers, homebuilders, and contractors of the need to achieve minimum energy efficiency standards. Implementation of a code-required testing program has held these stakeholders more accountable for seeing that these standards are met. The end result: higher energy code compliance rates in newly constructed homes.

 This code compliance case study looks at the role of third-party plan review as a way to improve compliance with building energy codes. 

Residential-type ENERGY STAR windows are a good choice for saving energy in single family and many multifamily buildings. However, structural, safety and façade design considerations in mid- and high-rise buildings often call for commercial-type windows which are not part of the ENERGY STAR program. This fact sheet summarizes the issues of specifying energy efficient windows in mid- and high-rise residential buildings, and provides recommended U-factor and SHGC values for a few design scenarios.

Full Report: Windows for Mid- and High-rise Residential Building 


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Revisioning The American Dream
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