For Immediate Release: November 8, 2010
Jeremy Stine, 202-367-2359
WDMA Objectives Achieved at ICC Final Action Hearings; Improvements to 2012 Energy Code Secured
[Washington, DC]- The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) achieved many of its objectives at the International Code Council's (ICC) Final Action Hearings on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which recently concluded in Charlotte, NC. WDMA was on hand to ensure amended fenestration requirements for the 2012 edition of the IECC are reasonable approaches to increasing the stringency of the 2012 IECC by 30 percent above the 2006 edition.
Among the most significant outcomes and one that WDMA has sought for several years is the near elimination of provisions allowing less stringent energy performance requirements for metal-framed fenestration products used in commercial construction. WDMA has long argued that the energy performance requirements within each climate zone should be uniform for all fenestration used in commercial construction, as they are for residential construction.
"This fixes a critical flaw in the IECC that discouraged the use of more efficient non-metal framed fenestration because of the unbalanced requirements," said WDMA President Michael O'Brien. "This is a very significant gain for balanced energy efficient codes and especially for WDMA members."
Under the 2012 IECC, fenestration energy efficiency requirements will be based on climate zone and operability, but no longer by framing material type. WDMA argued that uniform minimum requirements promote the use of more efficient fenestration products and are essential to ensuring uniform building performance.
In further balancing the codes, exceptions allowing less stringent energy performance requirements for impact resistant glazing, and allowing site assembled fenestration to be exempt from air leakage testing were also removed. WDMA argued these exceptions are no longer needed or otherwise justified and should be removed as part of the overall effort to improve the IECC.
Among other significant objectives WDMA worked hard to secure are:
· Overturning the approval of a proposal limiting glazing area in residential construction to 20 percent of conditioned space;
· Rejection of proposals to remove to fenestration efficiency trade-off caps;
· New requirements for whole house air barrier testing;
· Establishment of solar gain requirements for residential construction in IECC climate zone 4;
· Reinstatement of more reasonable air infiltration rates for skylights;
· Removal of unjustified additional insulation requirements for unit skylights; and
· Rejection of proposals to impose EPA Lead Rule requirements for property maintenance and renovation.
WDMA's testimony on many of these issues was also supported by energy efficiency interest groups participating in the hearings.
On the downside however, maximum infiltration rate for operable windows used in commercial construction was reduced by 30 percent. WDMA strongly opposed the proposed reduction stating further reduction in maximum infiltration rates results in very limited gains in building efficiency, if any, and that the reduction will impede window operability, especially for sliding products. Unfortunately those arguments were rejected by the voting code officials present.
Last week's hearings also resulted in the landmark decision to no longer allow separate energy provisions for residential construction under the International Residential Code (IRC). Beginning with the 2012 editions of the codes, residential construction under the IRC will need to comply with residential provisions of IECC.
"This change ensures that the energy provisions between the two codes are consistent. It is also a very welcome relief from the additional time, effort and cost that was required by all stakeholders to maintain separate provisions in each code," said Jeff Inks, WDMA's Vice President of Code and Regulatory Affairs.
Founded in 1927, the Window & Door Manufacturers Association is the premier trade association representing the leading manufacturers of residential and commercial window, door and skylight products for the domestic and export markets. WDMA members are focused on Total Product Performance™ products that are designed and built to performance-based standards. The association is focused on key member needs in the areas of advocacy, product performance, education and information and facilitating business interactions and relationships in the fenestration eco-system. For more information, please visit www.wdma.com.