Friday, April 20, 2012

Market Transformation Group Offers Steps for Improving Rate of Code Compliance

While complying with building energy codes is widely considered the most effective way to reduce energy costs, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), is not getting the attention it needs to make as much difference as it could.

Research conducted by IMT says compliance with building energy codes is only around 50 percent.

The group has also conducted research on how to improve compliance. One thing it suggests is streamlining regulatory processes. IMT says Ventura County, California save more than $1 million over six years after purchasing software to streamline permitting and inspections.

IMT says utilizing third parties is an effective way to improve building energy code compliance. This is a viable alternative for understaffed offices and for those seeking greater objectivity and expertise in the energy-performance testing process.

Finally, IMT says improving building energy code compliance can be achieved by holding design professionals accountable. In Wisconsin, for example, licensed architects and engineers are responsible making sure building plan meets codes and that final construction is code compliant. A study by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), determined that energy code compliance for commercial buildings in Wisconsin reached 95 percent in 2011 as a result.