NIBS and NBI Develop Guidance for Outcome-Based Compliance Path in Energy Codes

A number of U.S. cities and states have begun to recognize the current code-based mechanisms do not provide the means to help them achieve their energy performance goals for buildings. Codes largely focus on design requirements for a limited number of building characteristics but do not require verification that the design results in actual, measurable energy savings. That is why the Washington, D.C.-based National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and New Buildings Institute (NBI), Portland, Ore., developed “Implementing an Outcome-Based Compliance Path in Energy Codes: Guidance for Cities.” This document provides jurisdictions with a new approach to shift the focus toward actual, measurable energy results so they can begin impacting energy-influencing measures not currently included in the nation’s model energy codes.

Most jurisdictions across the nation use a prescriptive or performance-based pathway to achieve their energy-efficiency requirements. For years, NIBS and NBI have worked to address the actual, measured energy performance of buildings across their life cycle. They have submitted code-change proposals through the Atlanta-based ASHRAE and Washington-based International Code Council code-development processes to establish an outcome-based compliance path within the model codes. While developing the guidance document, they received feedback from industry stakeholders representing numerous aspects of the industry.

“Implementing an Outcome-Based Compliance Path in Energy Codes: Guidance for Cities” provides jurisdictions with the regulatory language to put an outcome-based compliance path into place. Jurisdictions can use the draft regulatory language as a framework around which they can begin to align their high-level energy goals through their building codes.

The guidance document, which is available free to jurisdictions, includes code language that can be incorporated directly into a jurisdiction’s energy code. Jurisdictions interested in starting on the outcome-based path to achieving energy goals, can download “Implementing an Outcome-Based Compliance Path in Energy Codes: Guidance for Cities”.

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