Cracking the Codes

A new continuing education course helps construction professionals understand the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code®

Keeping up to date with codes can be one of the more daunting tasks of a construction professional. The best in the business not only keep themselves current but also find a way to anticipate what might be coming down the pike in the often complex world of codes and other regulations, especially those that deal with energy efficiency.

One set of codes—the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code® (IECC)—is gaining particular attention these days. That's because states that accepted federal funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), better known as the stimulus package, agreed to adopt the IECC as a condition of receiving funding. Construction professionals working in states that previously had no energy code—or one that was minimal compared to the IECC—are now facing significant construction changes with the adoption of this energy code. And even those states (such as Massachusetts) with existing standards are advancing stretch codes related to the efficiency of mechanical systems.

At the same time, the interest in green building certification programs, and standards has increased greatly. Construction professionals will need a thorough understanding of the 2009 IECC and related green codes in order to best design and build code-compliant homes.

The 2009 IECC can be difficult to navigate for those construction professionals who work with propane-related appliances and systems. The IECC neither discourages nor encourages the use of propane or any other fuel. It does, however offer some advantages for propane. The 2009 code added a requirement that ducts must be tested to meet specific air leakage criteria. This is where ductless systems, such as propane systems for hydronic baseboard and in floor heat, can offer more design flexibility and reduce compliance costs. Propane also plays well with third-party green certification programs, which draw their baselines from established standards such as the IECC and Energy Star.

The bottom line is that the 2009 IECC, which will likely be updated and adopted with the release of the 2012 edition in mid- to late-2011, is complicated. To help construction professionals make sense of the code and its implications the Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) is offering a free, online training course. A fact sheet summarizing the main points of the full course will be coming soon to the Research and Insights section of the site.

Cracking the Codes
Beyond the Kitchen: Integrating Propane into a New Home or Remodel
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