Green Requirements

Some government reports are saying the 2012 IECC (Intl. Energy Conservation Code) could require a 30% improvement in energy savings compared to the 2006 IECC—which means homes and businesses will have to be built more efficiently. With this news looming on the horizon, it might be time for construction companies to consider green technologies.

The ICC (Intl. Code Council), www.iccsafe.org, Washington, D.C., is expected to publish the new building code in early 2011. The organization is comprised of state and local energy and safety code officials, building representatives, and stakeholders. The ICC is responsible for safety, efficiency, and fire-prevention requirements for U.S. construction.

According to the U.S. DOE (Dept. of Energy), www.doe.gov, Washington, D.C., at a hearing in October members passed a series of energy-saving code changes, which is anticipated to achieve the DOE’s 30% goal of energy savings in both residential and commercial building code. Once the 2012 IECC publication is available early next year, the DOE will take a formal rulemaking determination for energy efficiency.

What does this mean for the construction industry? Quite simply, buildings are going to need to be built more efficiently. There are a number of ways construction professionals can go about doing this—energy-efficient materials, building automation controls, and even software in the office to help determine energy savings before a building is even constructed.

There has been quite a bit of technology companies in the construction space coming to market with new product enhancements and partnerships for early analysis of energy in buildings.

With this type of technology, contractors can analyze how much energy the building will consume using the BIM (building information modeling) process. From there, the team can make more informed decisions about how to improve the overall efficiency of the building.

For construction professionals ‘going green’ is not just a fad; government sources say the energy-efficiency requirements of buildings will soon become more stringent. Now is the time to prepare by putting the proper technology in place to help build more efficiently.