05/03/12

Building Codes Assistant Project: Annual Report 2010 & 2011

BCAP's 2010 and 2011 Accomplishments

Building Code Adoption

From January 2010 to January 2012, the number of states adopting the 2009 IECC for residential construction grew from six to 24. The number of states adopting the 2009 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for commercial construction rose from just one to 30 during the same time period. BCAP staff redoubled its efforts to add more 2009 code adoptions, while assisting several states that are considering adoption of the most recent 2012 codes.

Compliance Planning Assistance Program

BCAP is also working with building professionals to ensure compliance with the adopted code. The Compliance Planning Assistance program has been working in 15 states with state and local officials to identify gaps in code infrastructure and compliance, providing clear recommendations on how each state can improve on its compliance rates.

Incremental Cost Analysis, 2009 IECC

In 2010, BCAP developed 29 state-specific and easy-to-read handouts to support the 2009 IECC. By indentifying and putting a price-tag on energy code upgrades, this work begins to address the concerns that home builders, and eventually home buyers, will face when a new code is adopted. Each handout details the costs of code adoption, as well as the month that home buyers will break even and afterward achieve a “profit” through lower utility bills. By appealing to the consumers, BCAP was able to assist local adoption efforts and generate interest from consumer advocate groups.

Consumer Outreach Campaign

Beginning in November 2010, BCAP worked to create groundbreaking consumer resources that can be found on OCEAN’s new Consumer Portal. The resources created for this campaign help consumers identify whether their home is up to code and assess whether or not the codes are being successfully enforced in their communities.

Looking Ahead in 2012

Incremental Cost Analysis, 2012 IECC

BCAP has conducted a cost-benefit analysis for energy efficiency improvements in the 2012 IECC to allay the concerns building professionals have over added construction costs. This effort has been expanded to doing similar analysis for local jurisdictions that are looking to adopt a more stringent code than their state. Additionally, BCAP has begun working on a second set of state-specific handouts for the updated codes.

Energy Code Adoption Support

To ensure states stay on course to meet adoption targets, BCAP will be on the ground in support of local stakeholders by:

  • Providing adoption support and assistance in both long-term and quick-response scenarios;
  • Providing code status information to keep codes up-to-date;
  • Participating in building code events and activities; and
  • Maintaining and growing a support base via direct partnerships with local, state and regional organizations.

Local Implementation Support

For local governments, the work doesn’t really start until after a new code is adopted. Instead of proposing additional steps for the already resource-strapped local building departments, BCAP will explore ways to integrate new energy code enforcement into the jurisdictions existing inspection efforts.

Compliance Networking

BCAP will assist up to six states – including Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Texas – in creating self-sufficient compliance collaborative tasked with meeting 90% targets. BCAP seeks to provide services such as:

  • Identifying and reaching out to potential coalition members;
  • Assisting in coalition kick-off events; and
  • Planning and advising on topics such as funding, training and stakeholder outreach.

The overall goal is for these coalitions to be self-sustaining by the close of the project in September 2012.

On the Ground Efforts

BCAP recognizes that there is no substitute for on-location code adoption and implementation support. It has chosen to expand the Energy Code Ambassadors Program (ECAP) by marketing the program and searching for other opportunities to implement it in other states. The program aims to help guide and train state and local code officials to enforce the model energy codes in order to meet the target compliance level with tailored support. BCAP will also provide new resources to reach out and educate consumers on the benefits of energy codes.