Builders would be wise to institute proven innovations in materials and methods before more jurisdictions adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code.
Within the year, the International Code Council will publish the 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), a set of building rules addressing energy efficiency that serves as the model for states and localities across the U.S. The standards organization, which updates the code every three years, issued the 2012 IECC in July 2011, but legislatures have been slow to adopt its provisions amid concerns about expense and complexity.
The Essential Enclosure
KGA Studio Architects designed the first production home certified by Passive House Institute US. Photos courtesy of KGA Studio Architects
KGA Studio Architects selected a double-framed 2-by-6 wall construction for a house the firm designed for Brookfield Residential Colorado last year at the builder’s Midtown community in Denver. The project, which received a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) because of its aspirations for Passive House and Challenge Home verification, specified pre-engineered roof and floor trusses and tried to stick with materials and methods familiar to most production builders. The outer wall was flashed with spray polyurethane closed-cell foam and the remaining depth was filled with blown-in fiberglass insulation, creating what Gloss calls a “glorified flash-and-batt system” that most production builders know how to install.
Brookfield Homes constructed a double-framed wall to ensure an airtight building enclosure.
New Town, Familiar Way
Photos courtesy of New Town Builders
New Town Builders shifted the bearings in its frames to create a thermal break.
In the Air
TC Legend Homes uses structural insulated panels to frame all of its houses. Photos courtesy of TC Legend Homes
TC Legend Homes in Bellingham, Wash., discovered using structural insulated panels (SIPs) for wall construction simplifies the design and installation process and provides automatic air sealing by merely following the manufacturer’s directions. “It didn’t take anything extra to get that really tight building envelope,” says owner Ted Clifton, who decided to frame with SIPs exclusively a dozen years ago after a drawn-out debate with his father about their merit compared with double-wall framing.
The Time is Now
New Town Builders created a building science center to help market energy efficiency.