Contact: Robert DuPont, 608-712-2398, [email protected]
Energy and Innovation
MADISON – The Alliance for Regulatory Coordination joins the International Code Council in observing May as Building Safety Month. This week we encourage everyone to be aware of the need for energy conservation and innovation in building design, construction and safety.
The building safety industry is on the cutting edge of energy efficiency, building science and innovation. From green construction and resiliency to product evaluation, certification and codification, the International Code Council family of solutions is part of this technological transformation to make our buildings safer and our industry more advanced and adaptable.
The International Codes (I-Codes), developed by the Code Council, are the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in the world. For decades, I-Codes and standards have addressed resilience and sustainability by incorporating the latest innovations in science and technology. The Code Council is committed to working with member jurisdictions and industry partners to bring the right building products and practices to market, labeling new homes and structures as more efficient, and spreading the word about the need for wiser resource usage and building resilient structures.
Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction
Energy fuels our lives – households, businesses and society in general. Yet, energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions can pose significant challenges to communities, homeowners and renters, and business owners.
- Americans currently spend more than $200 billion annually on energy bills.
- Energy use impacts housing affordability, with low-income households facing a median energy burden three-times that of non-low-income households.
- Globally, buildings and building construction sectors combined are responsible for over one-third of global final energy consumption and nearly 40 percent of total direct and indirect CO2 emissions.
However, there are solutions. Building energy codes contribute to the health, safety and welfare of communities and citizens, reducing energy bills, improving occupant and community health, enhancing resilience and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Code Council family of solutions has resources available to assist jurisdictions, builders, manufacturers, and the public with building energy efficiency ranging from support for adoption and implementation of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to a toolkit for states and communities with advanced energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals.
Resiliency is the ability to plan and prepare for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events regardless of whether the subject is an individual or our society, a business or our economy, a single bridge or all critical infrastructure.
Creating a resilient nation requires diligent planning and innovative thinking. Incorporating new technologies in current building practices to achieve higher resiliency is exciting but can be expensive. Thankfully, effectively utilizing current codes and standards throughout all phases of the building’s lifecycle increases the efficacy of new building technologies and offers a cost-effective path toward community stability during times of disaster. Resilience starts with strong, regularly updated, and properly implemented building codes.
Green building and sustainable construction strategies reinforce the societal health, life and safety benefits that building codes offer, providing resilience to natural disasters, a changing climate, resource consumption and management, and service interruptions due to unforeseen events. These tools can also aid occupant comfort and health, save money and preserve resources during the design, construction and operation of buildings. Many homeowners, businesses and building professionals have voluntarily sought to incorporate green and sustainable building strategies into their projects, and a number of systems have been developed to guide green building practices.
The 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) provides the design and construction industry with a very effective way to deliver sustainable, resilient, high-performance buildings. The 2018 IgCC provides fundamental criteria for energy efficiency, resource conservation, water safety, land use, site development, indoor environmental quality and building performance that can be broadly adopted.
Code compliant building products
The certification and accreditation of building products are critical to the building code enforcement process. Technical evaluations of building product listings and plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas listings provide regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products and systems comply with codes and technical standards. The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) issues reports on product code compliance that are made available free of charge to code officials, contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers and anyone else with an interest in the building industry and construction.
Accreditation of entities that support code compliance
There is a need for independent verification that businesses, organizations and governmental entities that facilitate building codes and standards are competent and comply with industry and/or international standards. The International Accreditation Service (IAS) accredits testing and calibration laboratories, inspection agencies, building departments, fabricator inspection programs and special inspection agencies to ensure adherence to acknowledged standards.
Building department codification
Codification is the process by which local governments keep their laws organized, structured and updated to serve as a reliable legal reference. General Code updates and digitizes local codes, integrating new laws into the existing code. It works with municipalities to create a single, consistent resource and compiles the information into a comprehensive code. It subsequently publishes this code resource in print or in a convenient online platform. ICC-Community Development Solutions (ICC-CDS) offers software solutions that allow building departments and code enforcement officers to streamline and track information associated with the inspection and compliance process.
So, whether you’re considering renovating, remodeling or building from the ground up, make sure your project is based on the codes and standards that incorporate resilience, sustainability and the latest innovations in science and technology, to ensure that safety and efficiency are the result.
The Alliance for Regulatory Coordination is a consortium of 23 business, professional, trade and advocacy organizations involved in building design, construction and regulatory services in Wisconsin. The Alliance seeks regulatory services provided in the most efficient manner possible to effectively promote the health, safety and welfare of Wisconsin citizens and visitors.The International Code Council is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.