More than 120 state energy office staff, state building regulatory agency staff, code officials and building design and construction professionals received the latest information on building energy code compliance practices at a NASEO Building Energy Codes Compliance Webinar on June 14, 2011. The purpose of the webinar was to share with state and local government staff involved with energy codes some of the resources and tools available to them for improving and assessing code compliance.
The webinar started by providing an update on the information related to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) activities that support compliance with building energy codes. David Conover, Senior Technical Advisory with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), who is supporting the DOE BECP, provided the update. The information in the webinar helped to increase awareness of the various activities and no-cost resources available from BECP to support any efforts and activities associated with ensuring compliance with building energy codes. For example, the presentation included discussion of tools such as the State Sample Generator, which is an online web application that assists states in randomly selecting buildings across the state to evaluate as part of a compliance assessment. The generator provides statistically valid samples for counties within a state, based on estimated construction starts and then separates those by climate zone in the state relative to those starts. Also presented at the webinar was the Store and ScoreTM online web application that collects building evaluation data gathered as part of a formal state compliance evaluation efforts. The tool scores the data, on an individual building and a statewide level, and allows analysis of data collected across states.
The status of BECP’s state compliance pilot studies on several states was also provided. These compliance pilot studies are intended to help states in their compliance efforts, while at the same time provide insight into the effectiveness of the current compliance tools and identify suggestions for improvement. The final reports are due shortly and will aggregate results and summarize the findings across the participating states.
For more information on the BECP’s technical support, resource guides, publications, code notes, training tools, compliance resources, etc., you are encouraged to go to www.energycodes.gov.
During the webinar a specific state code strategy was presented by Laura Richardson, the Recovery Act Coordinator for State Energy Programs at the New Hampshire’s Office of Energy and Planning. She summarized New Hampshire’s program that recently completed 26 code training workshops with over 1060 building professionals trained on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009. These efforts are helping to better make the code-related tools and resources more accessible, relevant, and widely used. New Hampshire is also developing workshops and tools for harder-to-reach audiences, such as realtors and appraisers. Additionally, the state recently launched a public awareness campaign involving a radio public service announcement (PSA) highlighting the benefits of energy efficient building codes; the PSA was shared with the webinar participants.
To further encourage peer-to-peer exchange of information during the webinar, a question and answer session was provided. The webinar attendees participated in a discussion and exchange of strategies between state/local jurisdictions on building code related issues and challenges.
For more information on this webinar or building energy code activities, please contact Brian Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.