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Take a look inside the exciting world of energy codes and discover the numerous benefits of energy-efficient buildings! 

Code development is the process of updating energy codes to match advances in building science and construction practices. In the United States, this process happens on a three-year cycle. As soon as the model energy codes—the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1—are published, development begins for the next code cycle. Development processes vary from code to code, including...

Building codes are a crucial component of any successful energy policy because they create easy-to-understand minimum requirements for all new construction. In order to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of an energy efficient building sector, a state or municipality must first go through the process of adopting an energy efficient building code.  By adopting building energy...

Implementation is a term used to describe all of the activities needed to prepare local building departments and the building industry to ensure compliance with the energy code. It includes outreach to stakeholder groups; on-site, classroom, and web-based training; establishing and utilizing enforcement infrastructure, tools, and systems; along with other educational and organizational efforts...

Enforcement is the process that building inspection departments undertake to ensure that site plans and construction follow the previsions of the energy code. Without a significant emphasis on enforcement, compliance diminishes, and the outcome is always the same: new building or renovation projects that fail to realize their full potential for energy savings and the...

When policymakers adopt energy codes, they regularly cite impressive statistics regarding reduced energy use and financial savings. Yet all too often, energy codes fail to reach their potential. Advocates can point to a number of reasons why, but, in the end, it comes down to compliance. Energy code compliance refers to whether the building industry meets the requirements of the energy code at...

Training is critical for effective implementation of building energy codes. Code inspectors and members of the building and design communities must understand the code requirements for building systems, lighting, insulation, windows, HVAC, and other building components to ensure...

State-level policies on building energy codes vary widely across the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories, and can sometimes even within states. In most cases codes are adopted through a legislative process (i.e. the code is updated by a bill that is passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor), a regulatory process (i.e. the legislature has...

The implementation of building energy codes serves one major purpose: saving energy. Buildings are a relatively untapped source for energy savings, as the construction and operation of buildings in the U.S. accounts for nearly 40% of all domestic energy consumed. Reducing the energy used by buildings can save money for homeowners, companies, and other property owners who can reinvest it...

Advanced and green energy codes direct the design and construction of more sustainable buildings that go beyond the minimum accepted standards of practice established in energy codes to reduce energy use and environmental impact even further. In this way, green and advanced codes are an important means to achieving climate goals set by many states and municipalities, as well as addressing the...

States and local jurisdictions have many opportunities to access funding made available by the U.S. federal government States and local jurisdictions have many opportunities to access funding made available by the U.S. federal government to improve building energy performance through energy codes. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s)...

Buildings are big users of energy (accounting for over 40% of all energy use in the U.S.), and as a result the sector is a major contributor to global climate disruption. In the face of slow international action and rising global energy prices, the energy that could be saved from the buildings sector looms...

Access to information is a critical component to achieving successful compliance.  Given the diversity of the building code community, execution of strategic outreach campaigns can improve understanding of code changes, create buy‐in, and can lead to greater levels of...

Making the right building design choices can be challenging for designers and builders. Choosing one building material over another—whether building framing, installation, or windows—can be difficult, and one minor detail can create a dramatic change in energy efficiency. When faced with technical design decisions, it is important that building professionals are on the same page to...

Electric and gas utilities in the U.S. have grown increasingly supportive of energy efficiency during the last decade. However, to date almost all utility groups have stopped short of actively supporting the implementation of energy codes. Fortunately, emerging frameworks and financial incentives are creating opportunities for...

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