ICC Approves Proposal Regarding Dynamic Glazing in Residential Applications

The International Code Council’s (ICC) Committee Action Hearings continue this week in Dallas, and today the committee approved a proposal regarding dynamic glazing.

Proposal CE161, part 2, introduced by Dr. Helen Sanders, Sage Electrochromics, proposed that the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), R402.3.2 (N1102.3.2) be revised to include dynamic glazing. “Dynamic glazing shall be permitted to satisfy the SHGC requirements of Table R402.3.3 provided the ratio of the higher to lower labeled SHGC is greater than or equal to 3, and the dynamic glazing is automatically controlled to modulate the amount of solar gain into the space in multiple steps. Dynamic glazing shall be considered separately from other fenestration, and area-weighted averaging with other fenestration that is not dynamic glazing shall not be permitted,” according to the proposal.

Speaking in support of the proposal during today’s hearings Sanders said, “It is unclear in the residential code how to treat dynamic glazing. I urge your support as it removes barriers to key energy-saving technology.”

Many industry groups supported the proposal.

John McFee, representing the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), pointed out that use of this technology is growing and commercial specific provisions are in the IECC and ASHRAE. 90.1 “It is important that this technology is used in the residential market as well,” he said.

Tom Culp, representing the Glazing Industry Code Committee. agreed and pointed out that dynamic glazing is also cited in the International Green Construction Code.

“[With electrochromic glazing] you avoid all these debates about minimum or maximum solar heat gain,” said Culp. “This code does not take effect until 2015 so we need to make sure the codes take this into account now.”

Julie Ruth, representing the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), agreed with Culp, saying it is vital to keep the codes up to date. “The reason we come together every year to talk about codes is to keep them up to date and include new technology,” said Ruth. “So it is very important to have this provision in the IRC so people know how to evaluate it.”

Those who expressed opposition to the proposal even admitted it was “mild” opposition but due to reasons such as lack of clarity in the proposal.

The proposal was approved as submitted in a unanimous vote.

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