A number of cities and states across the United States have begun to recognize that the current code-based mechanisms in place do not provide the means to help them achieve their energy performance goals for buildings, according to a recent report from the New Buildings Institute. This organization maintains that codes largely focus on design requirements for a limited number of building characteristics, but do not require verification that the design results in actual, measurable energy savings. That is why the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and the New Buildings Institute (NBI) developed and released “Implementing an Outcome-Based Compliance Path in Energy Codes: Guidance for Cities.” This guidance document provides jurisdictions with a new approach to shift the focus toward actual, measurable energy results so they can begin impacting energy influencing measures not currently included in the nation’s model energy codes.
Most jurisdictions across the nation use a prescriptive or performance-based pathway to achieve their energy-efficiency requirements. For years, NIBS and NBI have worked to address the actual, measured energy performance of buildings across their life cycle. They have submitted code change proposals through the ASHRAE and International Code Council code development processes to establish an outcome-based compliance path within the model codes. While developing the guidance document, they received feedback from industry stakeholders representing numerous aspects of the industry.
The new document provides jurisdictions with the regulatory language to put an outcome-based compliance path into place. Cities and states can use the draft regulatory language as a framework around which they can begin to align their high-level energy goals through their building codes. Jurisdictions interested in starting on the outcome-based path to achieving energy goals, can download “Implementing an Outcome-Based Compliance Path in Energy Codes: Guidance for Cities” free of charge.