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Midwest Energy Codes Status Report - July 9, 2015

Midwest Energy Codes Status Report

[July 9, 2015 ]

Building Codes Activity

Michigan

  • The Michigan Commercial Energy Code Review Committee (as part of the Bureau of Construction Codes rule-making process) discussed and then voted on using ASHRAE 90.1 2013 as the base model code. The 2015 IECC will be an option for builders. These are the initial steps in a year long process where amendments will be considered, and an expected effective date for the code will be sometime in November 2016. The review process and dates can be found here.

Minnesota

  • The omnibus jobs and energy bill (HF3) was voted on and passed the House and Senate in the legislative special session, with few changes. The bill that was signed into law included one provision that affects building codes in the state. This provision can be found here (sections 80.27-81.34) and includes the following:
    • Minnesota will now move to a six year code cycle for all non-energy building codes, beginning with the 2018 model building code.
    • Minnesota is still required to consider adopting new model energy codes as they are updated every three years, upon issue of a DOE affirmative determination of the new energy codes.
  • The Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear the arguments from a petition challenging the Department of Labor and Industry’s amendments to the state’s IRC and IECC, brought forth by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC). This petition, filed in late January, claims that the code updates create a financial burden that exceeds the value of the changes.  In regards to the 2012 IECC, the BATC advocated for more performance-based rules to the code to increase flexibility and reduce costs. The Appeals Court will hear these arguments on Wednesday, July 15 at 9:30 am at the Judicial Center, Courtroom #100, and will likely publish their decision 2-4 months following the hearing.

Missouri - St. Louis County

  • The St. Louis County Council is currently reviewing the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) for adoption. The St. Louis County Building Code Review Committee (BCRC) received a number of proposed amendments for the energy portion of the IRC from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. The committee reviewed the HBA proposed amendments at the February 12th, 26th, and March 12th meetings and accepted or made additional amendments to most of the proposals. These proposed amendments include recommendations to weaken the window U-factor, wall insulation, ceiling insulation, and basement insulation requirements to Table 402.1.2 of the 2015 IECC.  Additional amendments (which effectively weaken the new code below the current amended 2009 code) include removing the requirement for the building energy certificate, blower door testing, duct testing, and high efficacy lighting.The BCRC tabled one amendment (R403.7 Equipment sizing and efficiency rating) for the mechanical review committee to review. This amendment will remove the requirement to size heating and cooling equipment in accordance with ACCA Manual S. The BCRC is not yet finished reviewing the 2015 residential and commercial codes, but once they are finished the St. Louis County Building Commission and St. Louis County Council will hold separate public meetings to hear comments and concerns from residents. 

 

For more information on MEEA’s energy codes activities, please contact:

Isaac Elnecave | Senior Policy Manager
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
312.784.7253
ielnecave@mwalliance.org

Ian Blanding | Building Policy Associate
Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
312.784.7269
iblanding@mwalliance.org

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