The International Code Council (ICC) reviewed a proposal yesterday that would have added a section to the code to specify that Level 1 Alterations to existing buildings or structures be permitted without requiring the entire building or structure to comply with the energy requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or the International Residential Code (IRC). The proposal, G208-12, put forth by Vickie Lovell of Intercode Inc. representing herself, was disapproved with a vote of 7-4.

The proposal would have exempted several specific alterations from its provisions, “provided the energy use of the building [is] not increased.” Such exemptions would include storm windows installed over existing fenestration and glass-only replacements in an existing sash and frame, among others.

Lovell said the reasoning behind the proposal was that the IECC Section C401.2.1 requires compliance with Sections C402, C403 and C405 for existing buildings that are undergoing alterations and repairs, but this proposal was to clarify that certain features of the existing building undergoing Level 1 alterations are exempt from the requirements of the IECC.

“This is pretty much right out of the book,” said Lovell. “There are some things in here that the building code doesn’t regulate now. Putting this into the IEBC is very innocuous.”

Carroll Pruitt, a member of the ICC committee, asked Lovell if she had compared the proposal to ASHRAE 98.1 and Lovell advised she had not.

Thomas Zaremba of Roetzel & Andress, representing the Glazing Industry Code Committee, spoke in opposition to the proposal. “I can’t say that I’ve reviewed all of the listed items but all the fenestration items are already exempt from energy code applications,” he said.

James Colgate, a representative of the ICC, advised he would not vote for approval of the proposal for a specific reason. “I’m going to be voting against the motion because even though it’s word-for-word out of IECC, it only seems to apply to Level 1 alterations. When you’re doing alterations everything has the same provisions.”

Pruitt also advised he would not be in favor of the change. “I believe these energy provisions belong in the energy code and need to stay there,” he said. “And, [the proposal is] in conflict with ASHRAE 98.1.”

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