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Energy codes

Most roofing professionals understand a building's roof assembly serves an important role in controlling a building's overall energy efficiency and building owners' heating and cooling costs. However, some may not realize that codes mandate minimum thermal insulation requirements for the energy efficiency of most buildings.

Energy conservation codes usually are adopted by individual states and are applicable to all buildings within that state. Most states have adopted one of several editions of the International Energy Code (IECC), published by the International Code Council (ICC), to serve as the technical basis of their energy codes. In some instances, individual states modify the IECC to address specific regional or local issues.

To assist roofing professionals, NRCA compiled a database of states' current energy code adoption. This information was obtained either from individual states' Web sites or the Department of Energy's "Energy Code's Program's" website, www.energycodes.gov/adoption/states. Users are encouraged to contact the government agency having jurisdiction to verify the specific energy code(s) applicable to their projects.

Click here to access NRCA's database of energy codes by state.

EnergyWise Roof Calculator Online

IECC provides two methods of determining commercial buildings' minimum insulation requirements: the use of specific tables within the Code or compliance with American Society for Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc. (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 (ASHRAE 90.1), “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings,” building envelope provisions.

If you want to determine minimum R-value requirements per ASHRAE 90.1, you should consider using EnergyWise Roof Calculator Online.

NRCA, in partnership with The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, developed EnergyWise Roof Calculator Online, a free, Web-based application based in part on the Prescriptive Building Envelope Option contained in ASHRAE Standard 90.1, versions 1999(2001), 2004 and 2007.

EnergyWise Roof Calculator Online also provides a graphical method of constructing roof assemblies to evaluate thermal performance and estimated energy costs under normal operating conditions. This application is intended to be a simplified guide. For complex energy evaluation calculations, consult the ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook or an experienced mechanical engineer.

Click here to access EnergyWise Roof Calculator Online.

Roofing-related Energy Code Requirements

If you want to become more familiar with roofing-related energy code requirements, you are encouraged to read "Conserving energy" by Mark Graham, NRCA's Associate Executive Director of Technical Services. This article provides an overview of energy codes' minimum requirements and how these requirements apply to existing buildings when reroofing.

Click here to access the article.

In addition, NRCA offers Guidelines for Complying With Energy Code Requirements for Roof Assemblies: International Energy Conservation Code, 2009 and 2012 Editions for sale in NRCA's Bookstore. This publication provides a step-by-step guide for complying with the requirements of the International Energy Conservation Code's (IECC's) 2009 and 2012 editions and ASHRAE 90.1, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," 2007 and 2010 editions, which are referenced in IECC's 2009 and 2012 editions, respectively.

Click here for more information or to purchase Guidelines for Complying With Energy Code Requirements for Roof Assemblies: International Energy Conservation Code, 2009 and 2012 Editions.

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