The International Energy Conservation Code 2009

March/April 2010
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 01, 2010
Three groundbreaking changes to the residential requirements of the 2009 IECC include introducing specific performance criteria for envelope leakage, duct leakage, and lighting requirements into the residential code.
National energy codes got their start in 1975, when, in response to the oil embargo three years previous to that, Congress passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). EPCA was amended most significantly in 1992 with the passage of the better-known Energy Policy Act (EPACT), which empowered the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish and regularly update a national requirement for energy-efficient residential and commercial buildings. The basis for the residential standard was the Model Energy Code (MEC), which at that time was jointly overseen by the three regional code development associations. (In 1994 the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA), and the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) merged to become a single national organization, the International Code Council (ICC). EPACT also charged DOE with determining if subsequent editions of the MEC would save energy, and if so establishing them as the new national code requirements. In 1998 the MEC was renamed the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and there have been subsequent editions in 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009. Highlights of 2009 IECC There were three groundbreaking changes to the residential requirements of the 2009 IECC. Two of them are similarly structured; they introduce specific performance criteria for envelope leakage ...

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