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Tighter Standards, Model Code Aim To Cut Building Energy Use

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If U.S. jurisdictions adopt new, more restrictive model energy codes and standards, new buildings may end up using 20% to 30% less energy than existing structures. Late last month, members of the International Code Council voted to accept the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code for new residential and commercial buildings. Early this month, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers as well as the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America published ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010. The standard, called Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Buildings, provides minimum requirements for energy-efficient design. If followed, the standard could provide more than a 20% reduction in energy use over the 2004 version. ASHRAE and IES also published the 2010 ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2, Energy-Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings, up to three stories. The standard, which includes both prescriptive and performance paths for compliance, is written to result in a 30% reduction in energy use.

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