IECC 2012 Energy Code vs Energy Star

A recent Green Building Advisor article entitled “Efficiency Programs Struggle to Stay Ahead of Energy Codes” brings up a very important question: are more builders going to opt for building the code-built home rather than the Energy Star home? The new IECC 2012 energy code is far more stringent than past codes and means that programs such as Energy Star now have to beat those performance standards by a good ten or fifteen percent. The question is, how far can those high-performance energy-efficiency programs go to keep up with the ever-growing stringency of the international codes?

It’s the International Code Council’s job to make sure that builders are building the best homes that they can, even by the bare minimums required by law. Many US states have already adopted the last version of the ICC’s code, IECC 2009, and have even added additional requirements on top of it. With the new IECC 2012 code now being released, it now falls on builders to build even higher-performing homes than ever before if they are to build a home with the Energy Star label on it. Of course, like any code, it falls to enforcement. Are states going to have raters as good and knowledgeable of those as Energy Star and Passive House?

The question we would like to ask you, our builders and remodelers, considering your own experiences with dealing with state energy codes and Energy Star, are you still going to pursue the Energy Star label if the IECC 2012 is adopted where you work?

National Lumber hosts training classes covering topics such as energy codes as a service to our customers. Our hosted sessions will end this month and we expect to begin again in the fall. We also inform customers about other training opportunities with BAGB, etc. Visit www.national-lumber.com/events for more information.

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1 Response to “IECC 2012 Energy Code vs Energy Star”


  1. 1 Matt November 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

    It’s going to be a very interesting next couple years in the rating business. I’m an independent HERS rater doing about 200 homes per year. 60% of those are ENERGY STAR and the rest are HERS Ratings. I can see the writing on the wall for ES as builders continue to drop it and go for a HERS Rating. As long as states continue to allow compliance via performance testing (as opposed to prescriptively following the code) my builders won’t have too much trouble meeting the 2012 IECC. For any builders who have NOT been testing and certifying their homes in any way, it’s going to be a real struggle to continue.


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