Latest Articles in Codes & Standards

  • We knew the day was coming—the Environmental Protection Agency recently released its draft proposal for the future of the Energy Star program for windows, doors and skylights last week. With a plan that calls for changes to take effect in January 2014, the draft includes U-factor requirements that may  lessen the need for manufacturers to pursue triple-glazed products to carry the... more »
  • Those of us who have been involved in code development for an extended period of time have a saying–“The code is written in the hallways.” The saying reflects the more historic action of simply stopping one’s colleague in a hallway to have a discussion. It reflects the importance of seeking out, and obtaining, feedback on what one plans to present before it’s ever... more »
  • Once again the United States Green Building Council is attacking the vinyl window industry as it proposes changes to its LEED rating system. In November 2011, USGBC proposed changes for 2012 (currently on revision 4) that added a new Disclosure and Avoidance point category that refers to a list of "Chemicals of Concern," which include many common materials in building products, such as... more »
  • The International Code Council Group A hearings concluded this week, with the organization making plans to allow remote voting in coming code change cycles. The hearings also saw votes on a number of American Architectural Manufacturers Association proposals covering such matters as threshold heights, wind load provisions and flashing. The ICC has established a goal of fully implementing remote... more »
  • The International Code Council begins its first set of code development hearings for the 2015 editions of its codes this month in Dallas. The ICC Group A codes to be covered include the International Building Code.  Group B codes, including the International Residential Code, the International Energy Conservation Code and the International Green Construction Code will be addressed later. IBC... more »
  • A growing number of new home builders have found a point of differentiation in the marketplace by offering Energy Star-qualified homes. Studies reveal that homebuyers feel good about being good stewards of the environment—but they feel even better about saving money on energy bills. Consequently, with more people staying in their homes longer, energy-rated homes are becoming an easier sell... more »
  • Biggest challenge for most manufacturers likely to be new U-factor requirements
    The fenestration industry is facing significant changes that will likely increase thermal performance standards by 30 percent to 40 percent within the next few years. Higher performance levels are demanded by the International Energy Conservation Code and the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, and soon the Energy Star Windows, Doors & Skylight program. The Environmental Protection... more »
  • Greetings from Germany, where Fensterbau, the world's biggest window and door trade fair, kicks off a four-day run today.  A leading topic of conversation here–judging by labels on windows and signs in booths–is the Passivhaus Institut.  The organization has a whole-house standard, designed to bring energy consumption down to neglible levels, and apparently windows and... more »
  • What do the Golden Gate Bridge, Spam, Elmer Fudd and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association have in common? All are celebrating 75th anniversaries this year. I’m not so sure about any special observances planned for Spam or Elmer Fudd, but I hear the Golden Gate’s milestone will feature a festival in late May. And, AAMA appropriately is celebrating its 75th Annual... more »
  • As regular readers of this column are probably aware, the International Code Council has recently changed their process of revising the International Codes. They went from having two complete code change cycles per edition of the code to just one. And they changed their timeline, with applicable deadlines and hearing dates.  The goal was to have the 2012 edition of the International Building... more »