Much of the work taking place during the International Code Council (ICC) 2016 Committee Action Hearings is making important language clarifications in the codes to avoid confusion.

One approved two-part change to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), CE157, was heard by both the residential and commercial committees. It addressed the definitions of commercial buildings and residential buildings, which rely on the occupancy categories found in the International Building Code.

“While used in the Commercial provisions, the terms ‘Group R’ and ‘residential’ are not defined,” proponent David Collins of the Sustainability, Energy and High Performance Code Action Committee wrote as his reason for the proposal. “Group R occupancies can occur in a building defined as a Commercial Building. Non-residential occupancies cannot, by definition, occur in a Residential Building.

“People with an IBC background – when using the IECC-C and encountering the word ‘residential’–are likely to consider one of the Group R occupancies. People with an ASHRAE background, on the other hand, will also include such things as nursing home rooms and hospital patient rooms as ‘residential.’ The result is inconsistent application.”

He says this proposal ends the issue by “defining ‘Group R’ as those having one of the IBC Group R occupancies that can occur in a Commercial building and then it either removes or replaces the word ‘residential’ in various provisions. Group R is already used in various places in the code, most notably the building envelope (insulation) assembly tables.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *