The State Building Code Council is now finalizing amendments to the 2012 Washington State Energy Code. This will be a modified version of the 2012 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code) instead of our current “home-grown” state code, so it will have an entirely new format. The Seattle Energy Code amendments will carry forward a number of existing Seattle requirements, dispense with a few others, and add some new ones. Both the state and Seattle codes constitute incremental steps towards our long-term conservation targets.
Experts from design, construction and energy conservation fields are invited to form a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to propose new amendments and to evaluate other proposed changes to the commercial side of the 2012 Seattle Energy Code. This TAG will meet several times during December and January to review and develop code change proposals. Interested experts should send a brief message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effective Dates: The 2012 Seattle Energy Codeis scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2013, and become mandatory for permit applications filed on September 1. It is possible that the effective date could occur later in the year, if rulemaking procedures take longer than expected. (Outside of Seattle, the new state code will go into effect July 1.)
The 2012 IECC has been strengthened by adding higher-performing requirements already in the current state code, and then considering 170 code change proposals from the public. About half of these changes were eventually adopted, many of them coming straight from our 2009 Seattle code. Overall, buildings constructed to the new state code are predicted to use about 9 percent less energy than those built under the current code.
Targets: By City Council direction, the Seattle Energy Code must result in commercial buildings that use 20 percent less energy than required by the current version of ASHRAE 90.1, a national standard. The current (2010) edition of ASHRAE 90.1 is dramatically more stringent than the previous edition, so it remains to be seen if we can hit that target. Seattle is also targeting a 20 percent energy use reduction for both new and existing buildings by 2020, just eight years from now, so effective changes in the way we manage energy are crucial.
The State Legislature mandated a 70 percent reduction in new buildings’ energy use between the 2006 and 2030 energy codes, in incremental steps. Some local buildings are already approaching that performance goal, so it is feasible, but it will require new awareness and cooperation amongst the entire design, development and construction community.
For more information, contact email@example.com.