Updating State Energy Codes for New Homes Would Deliver Significant National Savings, NIST Reports

The National Institute of Standards and Technology launched its new database software, Building Industry Reporting and Design for Sustainability, to measure the energy and cost performance of newly constructed homes. It also reported that if every state in the nation adopted up-to-date residential energy efficiency codes, the savings over a decade would total approximately 2.4 billion kilowatt hours.

Freely available from NIST, BIRDS is a combination of software tools and building databases for evaluating the costs and benefits associated with alternative building designs, technologies and codes and standards (http://ws680.nist.gov/Birds). Just released, BIRDS Version 2 includes all the capabilities from BIRDS Version 1—which was focused on commercial buildings—and has added a database for residential building analysis.

The economists’ simulation tallied significant reductions in energy consumption that could be reaped if all states adopted the 2012 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Updated about every three years, the IECC is a model efficiency standard often incorporated into state regulations.

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