A Small Addition Faces A Tougher Energy Code
Energy regs on airtightness, insulation, and mechanical systems mean big changes — even for small buildings.
Synopsis: James Doman, a 20-year veteran contractor, details his first project under the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC), which includes the complete provisions of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Maryland, where Doman lives and works, was the first state to adopt these new standards. His article, “A Small Addition Faces a Tougher Energy Code,” provides a valuable window into these new standards in action. The core concerns of energy regulation are airtightness, insulation, and mechanical systems. The idea is to create as measurably efficient a home as possible. For example, to determine the size of heating and cooling equipment, the permit process stipulates “Manual J” calculations must be performed by a qualified HVAC designer. In the end, the contractor must sign off on the application, attesting that the entire building design satisfies the requirements of the 2012 IECC—new standards that are being steadily adopted throughout the U.S.