Climate-specific code changes target energy savings for tropical zones

Hawaii considers updated 2015 IECC tailored to its climate.

March 29, 2017 |

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The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes changes that address more climate zones.

One of these new zones is targeted to tropical areas including Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and islands between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Advocates recently testified in favor of adopting the new code at a public hearing on Hawaii’s State Energy Conservation Code.

A recent report funded by the Department of Energy found that adoption of the 2015 IECC would lead to about 21% energy cost savings for residential buildings, including single-family houses, townhouses, and apartment buildings of three stories or less. Tropic-specific additions to the 2015 code include requirements for insulation, ventilation, ceiling fans, and air sealing.

There is also an optional compliance path for semi-conditioned residential buildings that match criteria defined in the new code.

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