Development of 2024 IECC Well Underway; NAHB Member Action Needed Soon

Codes and Standards
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Contact: Vladimir Kochkin
vkochkin@nahb.org
(202) 266-8574

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In 2021, the International Code Council changed the development process for the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) from the traditional code development process to a standards-based process where a committee comprised of various stakeholders reaches a consensus over a series of meetings and votes. The 2024 IECC will be the first ICC code developed under the new process.

The residential consensus committee for the 2024 IECC is comprised of 48 members representing a wide range of stakeholders, including government officials, product manufacturers, advocacy groups, utility concerns and more. NAHB is represented on the committee by a small group of NAHB builder members and one NAHB staff member.

There is a long and uncertain road ahead, as the committees will be working over the next year to complete the 2024 IECC. Committees are looking at a broad array of topics, ranging from cost-effectiveness methodologies to solar photovoltaic (PV) mandates to electrification of buildings. Although the proposed changes to the IECC will go out for public comment at least twice, the 48 committee members are ultimately who decide what will go into the 2024 code.

There have been numerous full committee, subcommittee, and working group meetings during which NAHB members have actively participated, with the overall goal to ensure the next iteration of the model energy code is grounded in cost-effective, practical solutions that work in the field and are acceptable to home buyers and owners.

The ICC Board provided the following direction to the committee: “The code is updated on a three-year cycle with each subsequent edition providing increased energy savings over the prior edition."

Therefore, the 2024 IECC will be more stringent than the 2021 IECC in terms of the overall energy performance. It’s important that increases in stringency are incremental to allow for a reasonable transition timeline and are balanced with added flexibly in design and construction practices.

Significant proposals that have been or will be considered include:

  • Requiring whole-home electrification or electrification ready
  • Requiring on-site solar PV
  • Requiring homes to be solar-ready and energy-storage-ready
  • Requiring electric vehicle charging capability or readiness
  • Requiring grid-interactive equipment for demand response
  • Increasing the stringency of insulation, windows, and building and duct tightness
  • Requiring energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs)
  • Eliminating batt insulation option at rim joists
  • Requiring third-party inspections for energy code compliance (instead of building inspectors)
  • Requiring air handlers to be in conditioned space
  • Requiring ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation rates (much higher rates)
  • Requiring increased building tightness
  • Further reducing overall flexibility (e.g., removing air tightness trade-offs)
  • Imposing a penalty on houses larger than 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Realigning energy efficiency measures to prioritize more cost-effective strategies
  • Improving flexibility and increasing choices for achieving compliance when using performance design

Many of these provisions could have significant impacts on the design and construction costs of the homes of the future and remove the flexibility builders need for optimizing building performance. In the coming months, NAHB members need to become engaged in the process and raise their concerns.

Ways you can get involved:

  • Review and submit comments on the first public comment draft of the 2024 IECC, which will be published late this summer. We will need members to comment on the proposed changes to make builders’ voices heard. NAHB will publish a review summary of the public draft soon after the comments are opened to help members prioritize issues and offer solutions.
  • Attend and participate in virtual meetings of working groups, subcommittees, and committees, which are open to the public. NAHB members are encouraged to listen in or participate by providing testimony. Register as an interested party with the ICC to get updates and agendas for future meetings. Your participation at the subcommittee and work group levels, where there are more opportunities to speak, can be particularly helpful.

Builders can still influence the 2024 IECC, but it will take a deliberate effort. Go to nahb.org/2024IECC to learn more and get resources on how to help.

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