The International Code Council, the developer of “International” family of model building codes, is accepting code change proposals through Oct. 12 for the update of the ICC’s 2024 International Energy Conservation Code and Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code, which relates to energy efficiency. ICC is updating the 2024 IECC under its new framework that uses a process that, for the first time, gives code-approval voting privileges to stakeholders, not only government building code officials.
ICC is redeveloping the IECC and the IRC chapter using the American National Standards Institute-approved standards process. The switch to the ANSI process was laid out in ICC’s recently released framework, Leading the Way to Energy Efficiency: A Path Forward on Energy and Sustainability to Confront a Changing Climate.
Controversial Process Change
ICC’s board of directors approved the process change, which was controversial, on March 3. Private-sector interests, not just government code officials, now have final voting privileges on changes to the model code.
Before the board vote, the proposed changeover drew 207 written comments to the ICC from government officials, industry representatives and trade and professional organizations. Three-quarters of the comments were against the change. Dozens of cities and states, the American Institute of Architects and many of its chapters, the National Association of State Energy Officials, ASHRAE and DuPont Safety & Construction weighed in to keep the status quo.
Homebuilders, energy interests and manufacturers back the new process. “The proposed framework … appears to provide a clear improvement for the energy code development process going forward,” said Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.
Under the previous system, while the full range of stakeholders participated in hearings and committees, only government officials were able to vote on final code changes. In the ICC’s own words, that left “the final determination of code provisions in the hands of public safety officials who, with no vested financial interest, can legitimately represent the public interest.”
Assessment of Cost Effectiveness
As part of the 2024 IECC development process, ICC is asking that code change proposals include an assessment of the cost effectiveness of the change. Proposals “should consider any changes to the code as they impact the building owner, occupants and the energy system as a whole,” says ICC. Additionally, the Residential Energy Code and Commercial Energy Code consensus committees will be adhering to the ICC board-approved intents and scopes outlined in the framework, says ICC.
ICC also is seeking public input on an electric-vehicle charging resource, the first in a series of energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission resources outlined in the framework. Covering residential, commercial and multifamily applications, the resource provides communities flexibility in determining the best combination of EV-installed, EV-ready and EV-capable spaces, according to ICC.
Comments on the EV resource are due Aug. 16. The deadline for code change proposals is 11:59 pm Pacific Daylight Time on Oct. 12.