New Residential Energy Code Explained

New Residential Energy Code Explained

New Residential Energy Code Explained

Enforcement of the latest Energy Code, as decreed by the federal government, began in April of 2012. This code specifies minimum insulation values for wall and ceiling assemblies, as well as windows and doors. The code also determines the minimum efficiency of heating and cooling equipment.

The assemblies and equipment installed on each project are then required to be inspected by a state certified independent company to verify that these minimums have been achieved. A blower door test is also performed by this company for each new building. This test is to determine the air leakage of the completed building, which must meet the criteria specified in the energy code.

The state of Indiana addressed the responsibility of enforcing this code by allowing builders to choose between two options to meet the requirements spelled out in this code. The local building officials are required to document the method the builder selects and to verify that the builder complied with the code per the option they selected. The building official requires documentation from the independent company verifying that the builder complied.

One option is called the Prescriptive method. If a builder chooses this method, they must build the wall / ceiling assemblies and install windows, doors and equipment with the minimum insulation and efficiency values. Each component must meet or exceed the requirements as individually specified in the code.

Another option is referred to as the Performance method. This method allows the builder to approach the project more holistically instead of a compilation of individual components. Using the Performance method allows the builder to build assemblies or install equipment that does not comply with the code, as individually specified, as long as there are offsets by using methods or equipment that exceed code requirements in other areas of the building. The independent company must verify that, as a whole, the new building is in compliance with the code.

I prefer to use the Performance method. This allows us the freedom to adjust how we construct the building to best accommodate our local weather and to factor in cost efficiencies and the ultimate return on the investment for the owner.

Since we historically have built our homes to achieve the Energy Star rating, complying with the energy code has been a minor adjustment. Using the Performance method allows us to use methods and equipment proven to provide the efficiency that our customers expect.

About the Author:

Lynn Delagrange Inc. was formed in 1985 as L.D. Construction Inc. d.b.a. Chateaus by Delagrange. Louis Delagrange was the company’s first president and Lynn Delagrange served as vice-president for the organization. Prior to the company’s formation Louis and Lynn ( Louis’ nephew ) had worked together on several residential project with Louis as the builder and Lynn as a freelance supervisor. In 2000, Lynn purchased Louis’ portion of the company and is its president and sole owner. The name of the company was changed to Lynn Delagrange, Inc. at the time ownership had changed. Lynn began his career in construction, at the age of 13, working summers on his father’s ( A. D. Delagrange ) building company. He has spent the entirety of his time since, involved in every aspect of the construction industry. Lynn has been married to his wife Sue since 1988 and together they have two grown children. Lynn and Sue attend Pathway Church regularly and he relies on his faith as guidance in the way the company is managed. He enjoys playing golf, spectator sports and reading. Ron Schrock has been superintendent for the company for over 20 years and visits each project on a daily basis to ensure things are progressing as expected and to expedite the project in any way necessary. Ron and his wife Patty are kept busy evenings and on the weekends enjoying their riding horses. Wanda Goneau is our administrative assistant, in charge of all of the office duties. She will be the pleasant voice answering the phone when you callus as well. Wanda is devoted to her four grandchildren and loves attending their many activities. Now that you know a little bit about us, we would love to get to know you!