The primary effect of the change, according to the DOE report, has been “instantly prohibiting products that would otherwise maintain market share interests and could be compliant within the original DOE RICC code change proposal if other energy efficiency measures within the building code exceed code requirements.”
Many insulation types, including sprayed cellulose and expanding foams, cannot achieve the prescribed ratings without going to more expensive two-by-six walls.
The modifications were made at the last minute during a hearing on a proposal by the Department of Energy to simplify compliance with the IECC; and the onerous insulation requirement was added by the International Code Council as part of a 2004 supplement to the IECC. The change was opposed by both NAHB and DOE.
Last year, NAHB and other groups asked DOE to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the modifications because stakeholders did not have a chance to study them before they were adopted.
“We applaud the Department of Energy for conducting this important analysis and making their non-biased findings public, despite pressure from interest groups to change the results,” said Wilson.
NAHB is using DOE’s data to advocate reasonable, appropriate reforms during the current round of hearings by the International Code Council being held in Cincinnati from Feb. 22 to March 4.
“NAHB will continue its work to support appropriate code changes that promote energy efficiency and protect housing affordability,” said Wilson.
NAHB members should urge the International Energy Conservation Code Development Committee to vote in favor of NAHB’s code change to reinstate DOE’s original R-values for wood-framed walls. E-mail your message as soon as possible to the ICC’s energy committee staff liaison at JWoodward@iccsafe.org.
For more information, e-mail John Loyer at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8303.
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