Energy Code Compliance and the 2020 IRC

June 29, 2020

This is just a reminder letter that Indiana has adopted a new 2020 Indiana Residential Code. Changes include Energy Code requirements that differ from the previous code. These changes will likely result in additional costs to the builder. Many events have happened in 2020 so far that bring difficulty to rolling out training and enforcement. This includes not having code books available until almost the end of Q1 as well as the ongoing pandemic. We will make every effort to transition smoothly to the new code in a manner that minimizes financial impact. However, we feel that this memo along with some additional training opportunities is sufficient notice. Therefore, contractors should expect full enforcement of the new energy code for all permits issued after October 1, 2020. Please note this is a State Code regardless of local enforcement.

Effective October 1, 2020, permit applicants will be required to submit initial energy code paperwork when applying for permits. This will prevent non-compliance issues related to energy code prior to the final inspection. This needs to be turned in just like the engineered wood affidavit is required.

Below is a basic overview of some of the adjustments in the Energy Code.

  • Every house must be blower door tested. All pathways require duct leakage of ≤ 4 CFM to the outside. This means all homes will need duct tested if any part of the ductwork is outside the conditioned space.
    This will require strict attention to detail on all air sealing practices. Sealing all base plates, caulking around outlets, switch plates, lightboxes, register boots, and any other penetrations through the drywall.
    All walls, including top plates of ATTIC WALLS (knee walls) will need to be backed on all six sides (Top, Bottom, Front, Back, and Sides. *This includes top plates of walls connected to vaulted ceilings.
  • Every house will be required to have ASHRE compliant Mechanical Ventilation

Please refer to this link to see the full document published by the Allen County Building Department for requirements on wall insulation, attic insulation, windows, blower door testing, duct leakage, etc.

The Building Department is working with the HBA on some additional training opportunities related to energy code this fall. I have at least two sponsors and will be looking for more. If your business is interested in partnering with us for training, give me a call.

Thank you,
John Caywood
Allen County Building Commissioner

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