The International Code Council’s (ICC) committee action hearings this week in Dallas continued yesterday with a myriad of proposals related to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

One approved proposal, CE11-13, will adapt section C101.4.3 (the commercial portion of the IECC), “Additions, alterations, renovations or repairs.” The section of the code contains a list of exceptions noting that “the following need not comply provide the energy use of the building is not increased.”

While the list already contained items such as storm windows installed over existing fenestration and glass-only replacements in an existing sash and frame, Vickie Lovell of Intercode Inc., representing the International Window Film Association (IWFA), proposed that the following exception also be added:

“Existing single-pane fenestration assemblies with surface-applied window film to reduce solar heat gain.”

The proposal was approved with a modification, using the language below, according to Lovell:

Surface applied window film installed on existing single pane fenestration assembly to reduce solar heat gain, provided the code does require the glazing or fenestration assembly to be replaced.

“Surface applied window film to existing fenestration has been added to the list because it can enhance the performance of existing single-pane fenestration products for protection from injuries and property damage due to broken glass, reduces ultraviolet transmittance and glare, and improves performance when impacted,” wrote Lovell in her proposal. “The foremost benefit of applied window film to existing windows is reduced solar heat gain and reduced energy use.”

She continued, “While roughly two percent of commercial floor space is newly constructed each year, and a comparable amount renovated, the majority of opportunities to improve efficiency over the next several decades will be in existing building stock. Improving the energy efficiency of existing buildings through retrofitting and other measures will create a high-volume, low-cost approach to reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions … Allowing building owners to have the option to use window film on existing fenestration in order to improve the energy efficiency will create an incentive for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse emissions.”

Lovell’s proposal was approved as modified for both the commercial and residential portions of the code.

CE12-13, proposed by Shirley Ellis of Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M University, aimed to adjust the same section of the code to add another exception: “Replacement of existing fenestration, provided, however, that the area of the replacement fenestration does not exceed 25 percent of the total fenestration area of an existing building and that the U-factor and SHGC will be equal to or lower than before the fenestration replacement.”

Ellis also wanted to add a definition of fenestration area, as follows: “The total area of the fenestration measured using the rough opening and including the glazing, sash, and frame. For doors where the glazed vision area is less than 50 percent of the door area, the fenestration area is the glazed vision area. For all other doors, the fenestration area is the door area, using the rough opening and including the frame.”

Currently when a portion of the fenestration in a storefront or curtainwall building is damaged the IECC requires the replacement fenestration to meet the requirements of the current code,” wrote Ellis. “Oftentimes this requires additional construction to the undamaged portions of the fenestration to ensure the code compliant replacement is compatible.”

Ellis said the proposed code change would “allow replacement of damaged fenestration in existing buildings to be replaced without requiring the fenestration to meet the current U-factor and SHGC requirements when falling within certain parameters.”

Ellis’ proposal was disapproved by the committee.

Stay tuned to for more from the code hearings, which continue through Tuesday.

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