IECC Building Code Update: Three Issues to Watch


These building code issues will make the biggest impact on the 2018 codes. Here’s where they stand now.

As I wrote about in “Top Debates,” we at CodeWatcher are keeping our eyes on a couple of key issues that will impact builders in the coming years. The following is the outcome of the in-person hearings (online votes will be tabulated by the end of the year). Here’s the quick update of where these issues stand, although the ICC Board gets one last chance to change the outcome before they are inked into code sometime in 2017.

  1. ETO. The voting reps chose to keep the mechanical equipment tradeoff out of the code for a fourth consecutive cycle. This overturned the committee’s recommendation to bring this tradeoff back into the code.
  2. On-site power generation is allowed in the ERI path, but if it is used on the project, the 2015 IECC prescriptive requirements are the backstop. (If it is not used, then the 2009 IECC remains the backstop.) This is similar to what Florida decided to do with their state code at the beginning of the month.
  3. RESNET 301 was voted into the IECC, but if the project has to adhere to the IRC, then the ventilation rates from the 2018 IRC (which mirror ASHRAE 62.2-2010) are to be used. (RESNET 301 references the ASHRAE 62.2-2013 rates.) Also, the ERI numbers went up slightly, in a compromise between most of the stakeholders that included the aforementioned on-site generation/2015 IECC backstop. Finally, there is not (currently) any language that would allow an alternative ERI, so RESNET has a monopoly at the moment.

Read the back stories on these three issues. 

View the electronic voting guide. 

Check out CodeWatcher’s debut digital issue, which provides an overview of important building code topics.