The goals of building fire safety and energy efficiency are compatible when industry stakeholders work together to ensure proper assemblies are designed, the correct materials are specified, and installers have the experience to combine the design and materials properly in the field.
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.
Masonry materials and wall systems, with their inherent thermal mass characteristics, provide designers with many options to achieve energy-efficient designs. This article illustrates examples of wall configurations that exceed national building code requirements and high-performance standards.
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