The latest version of the Florida Building Code Energy Conservation (FBC–EC), which increases the energy requirements for impact doors and windows, and went into effect on June 30, is again in the news. The Responsible Energy Codes Alliance (RECA) has withdrawn its petition for Declaratory Statement that it filed on July 9, 2015. Frank LaPete who filed on behalf of the RECA, sought a determination that all replacement fenestration in existing buildings must comply with U-factor and SHGC requirements consistent with the Florida Building Code. This includes renovations as well, a concern for many in the industry.

In fact, in response to LaPete’s original petition a newly formed association, the Impact Window Affordability and Safety Association (IWASA), fought the implementation of the part of the Florida Building Code that relates to doors and windows, citing severe impacts on businesses. The companies filing the motion claimed that because a significant portion of their work consists of replacing fenestration in existing buildings that are not being renovated (as defined under Florida Statute 553.902(6) and Section R202 of the Florida Building Code – Energy Conservation), they will be required to “incur substantial costs in connection with testing and retooling for new windows.”

According to the original motion, LaPete sought a blanket declaration “that replacement fenestration products in existing structures must meet the U-factor and SHGC requirements set forth in the Florida Building Code, 5th Edition (2014), irrespective of whether the building is classified as a ‘renovated building’ under the code definition.”

In the withdrawal, statement filed on September 18, 2015, LaPete wrote, “ … We are very concerned that continuing the present process would not achieve our goal of producing uniform enforcement of energy conservation requirements for replacement fenestration that is consistent with Florida Statues and the 2014 Florida Building Code-Energy Conservation, but instead would unnecessarily consume substantial resources without a comprehensive final resolution of the issues.”

He added that he withdrew his petition to seek a solution that could achieve a more uniform statewide application of the 2014 FBC-EC—ideally a solution most stakeholders can support.

“To that end we invite IWASA, BOAF, Commission staff and other interested stakeholders to engage with us in a meaningful effort to find a solution that will serve the Commission’s statutory mission to set uniform, reasonable energy efficiency requirements for buildings statewide, including replacement windows, while also considering unique hurricane resistance needs and other local and regional issues.”

Stay tuned to as this story continues to unfold.


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