Detangling the Energy Code

August 31, 2016

Energy Codes set minimum efficiency requirements for newly constructed buildings, providing energy savings and emissions reductions over the life of a building. It gets even more complicated when you realize that the Energy Code is really two codes in one: NYS/NYC Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE 90.1 bound in a national model code (IECC). 

What you may know is the Energy Code was updated January 1st 2015; but did you know it is changing again October 3rd, 2016? Building owners need to know and care about these changes because it will be more costly and become harder to get their buildings built. New York City is cracking down on enforcement of the code and it is getting more stringent. If we compare 2007 to 2013, the codes are 8-34% more stringent. 

"As energy consultants, we see examples of how the code is affecting all types of buildings" says Principal Carl Ian Graham. "One issue we see time and time again is residential buildings with more than 30% glazing cannot meet the IECC requirements and so it must comply with ASHRAE." This is not the only nuance and technicality that occurs with the codes.  "No building owner should have to figure out the codes alone," Ian continues. Although common wisdom is to have an energy model for compliance, some buildings can show compliance with a simple Comcheck. Hiring an outside consultant like Vidaris, that has the experience and the focus to help navigate tricky situations, can help you identify the right path to take.

Vidaris’ team not only knows the codes, but also has been in the trenches of helping to create them. Principals Ian Graham and John Amatruda have been involved with the changing energy code for over 15 years. Together they taught training courses on the NYC code to over 1,000 examiners and professionals alike. Most recently, Ian has worked with NYS DOS on the economic analysis for the code and it's increased stringency. Looking toward the future, Ian is sitting on the NYS Stretch Code Committee. 


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Hannah Hutchison

Written by Hannah Hutchison

Marketing Coordinator