digital edition
product info
Mcgraw Hill Construction
    Subscribe to GreenSource the magazine
of sustainable design: $19.95 for one year


Changes Finalized for 2015 Energy Code

The 2015 IECC applies to historic buildings and offers a performance path based on the HERS Index.

By Candace Pearson

This story originally appeared on

December 02, 2013

Hearings to settle proposals for the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)—the code that serves as the model for states and localities across the country—have ended, finalizing some marked differences from the 2012 version.

Photo © Doug Kerr
The IECC energy code will have more of an impact on the nation's aging building stock--such as the Randolph Historic District (above)-- and will realize greater energy savings now that historic buildings are no longer automatically exempted.
----- Advertising -----

One of the biggest changes eliminates the code’s blanket exemption of historic buildings. In the latest version, energy standards do apply to both residential and commercial historic buildings, and a report detailing why a provision is detrimental to the historic character of the building is required for exceptions.

Another approved change in the residential code adds a performance path for compliance based on the HERS Index. Instead of basing performance on energy costs—limited to heating, cooling, and water heating—the new path requires that homes achieve a HERS score between 51 and 55, depending on the climate zone; HERS is already widely used and accounts for energy use from lighting and appliances too.

Reinstating mechanical equipment tradeoffs, one of this year’s highly controversial proposals, was defeated, and a measure requiring builders to dedicate roof space and install chase wiring to ensure that all new homes are “solar-ready” fell short of passage by one vote, but may indicate where the code could go next.

The code is updated every three years, but states are just beginning to adopt the 2012 version and, according to, the 2015 version is not likely to be published until 2014.

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.
----- Advertising -----
Click here to go to product info Page
Daily Headlines
McGraw-Hill Construction

Search Sweets

Example: Building Products, CAD, BIM, Catalogs
Reader Feedback
Most Commented Most Recommended
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Recently Posted Reader Photos

View all photo galleries >>
Recent Forum Discussions

View all forum discusions >>