Tag Archives: IECC

Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code: Thermal Mass Basics

A material’s thermal mass denotes its ability to store heat within a cycle of time. K-values, generally calculated on a 24-hour cycle, are important because they give general references to a material’s capabilities for storing heat. All materials may be considered for use in a thermal mass calculation, but steel, aluminum, and other metal claddings tend to cycle too quickly, while wood tends to cycle too slowly to offer desirable design values.

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Designing Masonry Buildings to the 2012 Energy Code

All images courtesy Mortar Net Solutions

The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will bring tremendous change to the way buildings are designed, constructed, and renovated. For example, the insulation requirements for masonry construction have been written to higher performance levels. The prescriptive energy code for the masonry industry is based primarily on the requirement for continuous insulation (ci) within the wall envelope. This becomes an issue when one looks at the standard concrete masonry unit.

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Energy codes and continuous insulation


In light of the federal government’s goal of improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, model energy codes are becoming more stringent. The effort to increase energy efficiency has been further emphasized by initiatives set forth by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s State Energy Program, and a congressional mandate that all states, must comply, at a minimum, with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, no later than October 18, 2013.

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