The author provides an overview of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), discusses how and why the requirements for the building enclosure have changed, and how the current code will impact design and construction. He explores how climate influences design, the need to control air and water in an enclosure assembly, and the rationale behind reducing the percentage of glass on façades.
High-performing commercial buildings are becoming popular because of evolving codes and stricter standards for occupant safety, comfort, and energy efficiency. One can achieve high-performing building envelopes by combining various cavity insulation solutions, such as foam sheathing and insulation behind brick, stucco, concrete, and other cladding systems.
Research is ongoing to advance precast concrete insulated wall panel technology by developing materials and design to double its thermal performance and reduce weight by half without increasing costs. The main goal of this project is to promote passive envelope technologies for improving energy efficiency in new construction.
Today, the design-build sector is increasingly specifying tapered expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation solutions to comply with codes—many existing buildings that are being retrofitted require the slope to be altered to meet regulations—as well as save time and money on the roof.