Differentiating between ASHRAE and IECC, major components of energy codes and more.

 In early May I had the opportunity to present at the 45th annual Metal Building Contractors and Erectors (MBCEA) conference. My presentation focused on commercial energy codes and metal buildings, as well as the different insulation systems that help meet the energy codes. While I won’t recount my entire hour-and-a-half presentation in this blog, I would like to share some of the key information I reviewed at the conference. Read on for Part 1 of the top takeaways from my presentation, and stop by next month for Part 2.

Takeaway #1: The difference between ASHRAE and IECC.

First, ASHRAE is a standard, not a code. IECC is the code that references the ASHRAE standard. Other differences include:

  • ASHRAE and IECC have different three-year cycles.
  • IECC follows behind ASHRAE by two years. For example, ASHRAE 90.1 2010 = IECC 2012.
  • IECC adopts the latest ASHRAE standard, plus any addendums and new data. This means that IECC is ultimately a more stringent code than the ASHRAE standard.

Takeaway #2: What’s in a code.

There are three major components of an energy code:

  • Lighting
  • HVAC
  • Envelope

Additionally, there are many elements within the building envelope subject to energy code regulations:

  • Opaque roof and wall assemblies
  • Windows
  • Skylights
  • Doors
  • Foundation
  • Floor

Takeaway #3: The 2009 IECC (taken from ASHRAE 2007) contains the thermal performance values of the roof and wall assemblies for metal building systems.

Finding the specific thermal performance values of roof and wall assemblies can be difficult – do you start with ASHRAE, the U.S. Department of Energy, or just resort to Google? Well, search no more. You can locate U-Factor information in the following sections of the 2009 IECC:

Commercial Energy Efficiency – Section 502.1.2

Commercial Energy Efficiency-Section 502.2(1)

Commercial Energy Efficiency – Section 502

Building Envelope Requirements – General

502.1.2 – U-Factor Alternative: “An assembly with a U-Factor equal or less than that specified in Table 502.1.2 shall be permitted as an alternative to the R-Value in Table 502.2(1)”.

Read Part 2 of my MBCEA conference presentation top takeaways. I’ll share specific information for ensuring energy code compliance, including a breakdown of the prescriptive assemblies from the 2012 IECC.

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