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PIMA Technical Bulletin #302: Wall Bracing with Polyiso Continuous Insulation (CI)

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 28, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Technical Bulletin #302 presents several applications related to the proper use of the Polyiso CI, and highlights the importance of wall bracing to resist lateral loading conditions and meet residential building code requirements. Structural bracing requirements are described for both wood and steel framed residential construction in the document.

Included in this technical bulletin are illustrations related to the use of wall bracing with Polyiso CI that serve as helpful “how to” descriptions for installation of the product. Also included is a summary of “Key Facts” that reference important information contained in the document. A link to PIMA Technical Bulletin #302 is provided here.

Tags:  buildings  continuous insulation  energy codes  energy efficiency  Polyiso 

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PIMA Technical Bulletin #301: Polyiso Continuous Insulation (CI) Performance in Residential Wall Applications

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Technical Bulletin #301 looks at the use of Polyiso CI (with foil or coated glass facer) to provide a continuous layer of insulation on the exterior of residential housing (when used with wood or steel framed construction) to minimize thermal bridges and increase the overall thermal performance and energy efficiency of a home. This document covers various applications of Polyiso CI including: thermal insulation; thermal bridge reduction; water resistive barrier: air barrier; water vapor control; and fire performance.

Included in this technical bulletin are a number of illustrations comparing Polyiso CI with other insulation systems. A “Key Facts” summary and “Definitions” section provide addition and important information. A link to PIMA Technical Bulletin #301 is provided here.

Tags:  building envelope  continuous insulation  Efficiency  energy codes  insulation  Polyiso 

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Building Efficiency: A Key Component to Meeting Energy Goals

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 26, 2019
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2019

Since the 1970s, the United States has made a sustained effort to address its energy consumption through the adoption of strong energy efficiency policies. The building sector—both residential and commercial—currently represents more than 40% of our national energy consumption, 54% of natural gas consumption and more than 70% of national electricity consumption.

Buildings also emit over one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than any other sector of the economy. When buildings waste energy needlessly, power plants work harder and put stress on the electric grid. Making our buildings more efficient is a practical way to help the environment, create jobs, and save money.

Boosting energy efficiency alone can provide 40 percent of the necessary greenhouse gas emissions reductions to meet global targets and the work to implement these standards will lead to jobs in manufacturing, distribution, and installation. These improvements will save consumers billions of dollars in energy costs annually – money that can be invested back into the U.S. economy.

But these policies would do more than save energy; they’d also provide buildings and the people who use them with added protection from severe weather events. In 2017 alone, there were $317 billion in losses from US natural disasters, jump-starting discussions on creating more resilient buildings and communities. Optimizing insulation for an energy efficient building envelope improves performance post-disaster or during prolonged events like heat waves or extreme cold. And the investment would pay off – it’s estimated that designing buildings to the 2018 I-Codes would deliver a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested.  

So, how do we promote building efficiency?

Every three years, stakeholders, including local governments and local officials, have the opportunity to vote on changes to the model codes, which serve as the basis for the building codes adopted and enforced by local and state governments. This time around, there is increased awareness of the opportunity cities have to write an update of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

Building energy codes set the standards for building efficiency and are an extremely effective method for enacting real change. Since cities are invited to participate in the process, local governments can use their votes to help write better, more rigorous building codes without having to fund the process themselves. These improved codes will increase energy independence, save money, and create jobs across the country as they’re implemented. All cities have to do is cast their eligible votes during the International Code Council’s (ICC) two-week voting window this November.

The process to develop the 2021 IECC has been ongoing for many years and culminates with cities’ online votes this November. Boosting local government involvement in the 2021 IECC and educating cities on the benefits of a robust energy code can put the model energy code in a strong position to win at least 10% efficiency gains for residential and commercial buildings.

There are many groups working to craft proposals to boost efficiency and provide communities with actionable guidelines to support efficient building projects in their jurisdictions. The increased awareness of the looming impacts of a changing climate and interest in contributing to the efforts to make our energy usage more sustainable, the IECC process has attracted more participation than ever before in the code development process.

What’s Ahead? Here is a list of action items from the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition:

What Local Leaders Can Do Now

Identify all existing ICC Governmental Memberships for your community
Consider a formal resolution that supports your city casting its maximum eligible votes in favor a 10% efficiency boost in the 2021 IECC
Convey your jurisdiction’s policy to each General Member

By September 24

Primary representatives must submit their roster of 4, 8 or 12 Governmental Member voting representatives to the ICC
Assign staff to organize a “voting party” or other activity to ensure votes get cast

November

 During ICC’s 2-Week Voting Window – Exact date is based on the end of the Public Comment Hearings, but it is currently scheduled November 13 – November 27.
Cast your city’s maximum online votes!

Tags:  buildings  Efficiency  energy codes  insulation 

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Energy Conservation Lives!

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Friday, August 16, 2019
Updated: Friday, August 16, 2019
A recent Trump Administration document “encourages communities to adopt and enforce up-to-date building codes.” This important policy recommendation, contained in the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)’s National Mitigation Investment Strategy (NMIS), is expected to further catalyze code adoption and pave the way toward enforcement of these critical building standards.

The NMIS Recommendation 3.1 further states:
“Building codes regulate the design, construction, and occupancy of buildings and structures by providing minimum requirements to safeguard public safety, health and general welfare. Architects, engineers, builders, and regulators should use the latest building codes for the most up-to-date requirements for structural integrity, mechanical integrity, fire prevention and energy conservation. Using up-to-date building codes helps communities survive, remain resilient, and continue to provide essential services after a disaster occurs.”
 
This recommendation, combined with increased code adoption at the local level will be a powerful market signal. Further information and an explanation of the document is available here.

Tags:  building  building codes  buildings  construction  Disaster Preparedness  energy codes  energy efficiency  resiliency 

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Justin Koscher on 2019 National Energy Codes Conference Panel

Posted By Administration, Thursday, May 2, 2019
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2019

The 2019 National Energy Codes Conference is being held in Denver, May 29 and 30, 2019. This year it will feature an engaging set of topics, educational sessions, and networking opportunities.

PIMA President Justin Koscher will be a panelist on the Building Resilience: A Community Perspective on Energy Codes panel. He will be joined by:

  • Cammy Peterson – Director of Clean Energy, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC)
  • Amy Schmidt – Advocacy Manager, DowDuPont
  • Brad Smith – Energy Code Compliance Specialist, City of Fort Collins, CO
  • John Balfe (moderator) – Senior Buildings and Communities Solutions Associate, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)

On Thursday, May 30 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, Justin and his fellow panelists will discuss:
Resiliency, safety, and savings – these terms appeal to community leaders and are important co-benefits of advanced energy codes. But how do communities realize these benefits? Policies, resources, and innovative strategies have been developed to harmonize energy efficiency and resiliency to make for a more well-equipped community building stock in the face of both manmade and natural disasters. Join this session to understand why energy codes are life safety codes.

If you are interested in attending this DOE event there is still time to sign up here.
Conference Dates: May 29 -30, 2019
Location: Denver, Colorado – Hilton Denver City Center

Tags:  energy codes  energy efficiency  resiliency  roofing 

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Congress Turns to Building Codes for Disaster Preparedness

Posted By Justin Koscher, Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
On two occasions this year, Congress enacted reforms for disaster preparedness that raise the profile and importance of building codes for purposes of planning and recovery. The nation’s disaster relief law – the Stafford Act – was first reformed as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act and later reformed with permanent fixes under the FAA Reauthorization bill passed in October 2018.

Under these amendments, building code adoption and enforcement are added as eligible activities and criteria used in grant programs aimed at reducing the impact of future disasters. In other words, states that act to adopt modern building codes and standards will be eligible for additional federal assistance in the event a disaster strikes. Moreover, the reforms allow damaged buildings to be rebuilt with federal support to better withstand future events, rather than merely restored to their pre-disaster condition.

These changes do not specifically address adoption and enforcement of energy codes. However, we expect that by encouraging the adoption and regular updating of the building codes that the energy code will also be positively affected.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first six months of 2018 resulted in six weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each. Moody’s Analytics estimates that losses resulting from Hurricane Florence will cost between $38 billion and $50 billion. Damage to homes and business can contribute significantly to the total impact of a disaster.

Construction built to meet or exceed modern building codes can therefore play an important role in reducing the overall economic impact of natural disasters. According to the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report published by the National Institute of Building Sciences, the model building codes developed by the International Code Council can save the nation $4 for every $1 spent.

Energy efficiency is a key part of a building’s – and a community’s – ability to withstand and quickly restore normalcy after a disaster. For example, a well-insulated building can comfort occupants when power is limited or cutoff. Building energy codes will also encourage the construction of more robust building envelope systems that can help avoid the crippling effects of moisture intrusion that is common in severe weather events.

The recognition by Congress that modern building codes deliver an answer to disaster preparedness is a positive for homeowners and businesses across the country. States now have the added incentive to prepare for tomorrow by enacting and enforcing better building codes today.

Tags:  building codes  Congress  Disaster Preparedness  Efficiency  energy codes  NOAA  resiliency  Stafford Act 

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National Insulation Fly-In Day a Success

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Thursday, May 31, 2018

More than 130 insulation industry professionals recently gathered in Washington, DC for the second-annual Insulation Industry National Policy Forum. They met with 82 Congressional offices and Members of Congress – including Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) who has introduced a bill that would strengthen the nation’s commitment to energy efficiency – S. 385 The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. In addition, leaders from the Department of Energy, White House and U.S. Congress addressed the industry – including Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL), a leader on energy efficiency issues in Congress.  This year’s event included nearly 50 percent more attendees when compared to 2017 attendance numbers.

PIMA was a lead organizer of the fly-in event and some of the key points the association and it members made to lawmakers included:

  • The insulation industry employs more than 529,000 people and creates over $30 billion in annual payrolls.
  • The insulation manufacturing sector employs 37,000 Americans in 42 states with the largest number of manufacturing jobs located in Ohio.
  • Building energy codes – a driver for the use of insulation – are projected to save the US economy $126 billion in energy cost savings between 2010 and 2040.
  • Federal investments to resilient buildings provides a positive ROI for taxpayer dollars – a recent study demonstrates that exceeding the 2015 International Building Codes can save the nation $4 for every $1 spent. The insulation industry produces technology that contributes toward the value of these mitigation efforts.

The fly-in, and events like it, provide opportunities to ensure elected officials hear from and understand the importance of both the roofing and insulation industries to the overall U.S. economy. During our meetings on Capitol Hill with key lawmakers we also discussed workforce issues, funding for Department of Energy programs that support building energy efficiency, and buildings as key components of a resilient national infrastructure.

To view images from the fly-in, click here!

Tags:  Adam Kinzinger  building codes  buildings  Congress  Efficiency  energy codes  energy efficiency  fire performance  insulation  jobs  manufacturing  Polyiso 

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The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act – Saving Small Businesses up to 30% on Energy Efficient Commercial Roof Retrofits

Posted By Nathan Pobre, Thursday, April 12, 2018

There has been a great deal of news coverage about the recent Tax Cut and Jobs Act. But as with all things related to the tax code, getting to what matters can be a long and arduous hunt. The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association made an assessment of the impacts this legislation will have on the building and roofing industries. It found that new reforms allow qualifying building owners to expense, or deduct, up to $1 million for the cost of certain building improvements in the year the work is performed, including adding insulation during roof replacement projects to meet or go beyond modern building energy code requirements. The impact can be significant for capital improvement projects. For example, a building owner that expenses the cost of a full roof replacement can reduce the net cost of the entire project by 25% to 30%. You can find our one-pager with more detail [here].

Tags:  buildings  energy codes  insulation  jobs  roofing  tax  taxreform 

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