In September 2016 the Houston City Council approved the adoption of a revised Residential Energy Conversation Code based on the Residential Provision of the 2015 International Energy Conversation Code (IECC). The newly adopted code will regulate one and two-family dwellings, and multi-family structures that are three stories in height or less.
Effective October 24, 2016 Compliance based on an Energy Rating Index analysis requires that the rated design for climate zone 2 be shown to have an ERI less than or equal to:
- 65 or lower from September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016
- 63 or lower from September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2022
- 59 or lower on or after September 1, 2022
The Residential ERI is based on a required format called REScheck. You will have to provide this form with your permit application. (REScheck website)
When an architect or design professional completes the REScheck form, his calculations include insulation, lighting, window design and HVAC efficiency. The final number that the REScheck form will spit out is the ERI. The Houston ERI is not as strict as the industry standard (yet).
What does all of this actually mean?
To ensure that the ERI of your new building will comply with the standards of the City of Houston in 2017, your minimum R-value in the walls will need to be R-13. The minimum R-value for the roof is R-38.
In addition to the above Energy Rating Index values, they are now requiring future installation modification of solar equipment. For the interconnection pathway, conduit not less than 1 ¼ inches shall be installed to provide a pathway from the electric panel to the underside of the roof sufficient to allow for future installation of solar equipment.
Rigid always recommends contacting your local city council office to verify building codes prior to beginning the manufacturing process to ensure all steel buildings are manufacture to the correct codes and policies.
For more information on the Energy Conservation Codes for Houston please visit the City of Houston website at: https://edocs.publicworks.houstontx.gov/division-files/planning-and-development-services-division/enforcement/forms-and-publications/energy-code-related-material/4824-2015-iecc-houston-amendments-residential.html