ICC Makes Change that Protects Stringency of Energy Star Brand

October 28th, 2019 by Tara Taffera

Photo from the code hearings held in May this year. (Photo Credit: AAMA)

International Code Council (ICC) public comment hearings continue in Las Vegas, and several proposals were tackled over the past few days that affect window, door and glass professionals.

RE 35-19 was modified per public comment 1 from Thomas Culp representing the Glazing Industry Code Committee. The modification was introduced by Jeff Inks representing the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, who submitted a public comment to do the same, and had negotiated with other interested parties in advance.  As a result, the proposal was approved with near-unanimous support (45-3). The modification made a change to Table R402.1.2 (IRC N1102.1.2): Insulation and Fenestration Requirements by Component and Table R402.1.4 (IRC N1102.1.4). In climate zone 2 the fenestration U-factor changes from .35 to .40 in both tables.

This public comment would accept the changes made to fenestration U-factor requirements in zones 3-4, but restore the current 0.40 value in zone 2 in order to avoid a conflict with the Energy Star program for Residential Windows, Doors, and Skylights, said Culp in his public comments submitted to the ICC.

“It is a widely agreed upon principle that Energy Star should be a notch beyond the base energy code. In some cases, code matches Energy Star, such as in zones 3-4 in this proposal and with some other product types, but the value in zone 2 directly exceeds the Energy Star requirement (0.35 vs. 0.40). This creates a direct conflict. Even if rare, this creates a scenario where an Energy Star labeled window could be sold to a consumer that does not meet code. This is misleading to the homeowner, harmful to the Energy Star brand, and also creates potential problems for code officials who use the Energy Star label to check code compliance (in addition to the NFRC label),” he said.

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