Tom Culp with Birch Point Consulting provided an update on codes and standards during the BEC Conferen

Codes and standards updates, changes and additions were part of yesterday afternoon’s sessions during the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference.

The two-day event began Sunday evening in Las Vegas and ended at mid-day today. Long an event produced by the Glass Association of North America (GANA), this year’s was the first one sponsored by the new association joining GANA with the National Glass Association (NGA). The new NGA-GANA announced a total attendance of more than 500, including contract glaziers, manufacturers/suppliers, industry partners, speakers, press and staff. Approximately 175 people from 75 companies were pre-registered as contract glaziers.

Tuesday’s program began with Tom Culp from Birth Point Consulting addressing some of the latest changes that have implications for the glass and glazing industry.  These include ASHRAE 90.1-2016; the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC); and the combined 2018 International Green Conservation Code (IgCC)/ASHRAE 189.1-2017. Culp noted that federal buildings will start to use 90.1-2016 later this year and that the 2018 I-codes will be adopted over the next one to 5+ years.

Looking closer at the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016, Culp addressed areas of increased stringency.  For example, U-factors are lowered by 3 percent to 24 percent in 90.1, which he said brings them more in line with the IECC. Also, there are only moderate reductions in solar heat gain coefficients in the middle zones four through five. There also aren’t any changes to window area, which Culp said is very important to the industry.

He added that 90.1 does include a new regulation on building enclosure commissioning, which requires envelope inspections or building air leakage testing. Also important for the glazing industries is the increased attention to air barrier continuity and window-wall detailing. Other details include stronger daylighting requirements and more focus on existing buildings.

Culp also discussed the green building codes, ASHRAE 90.1 and the IgCC. Green codes, he said, incorporate similar to LEED, but are written in code format. For glass and glazing products, the codes call for higher-performing products, with both the U-value and the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) set slightly beyond the base energy code. He also pointed out that expanded daylighting is a major focus on the IgCC. Daylighting requirements call for minimum top-lighting in large, open areas, such as warehouses, as well as a minimum sidelighting in offices, classrooms, etc. Other areas covered by the green codes include shading and sunshading, renewable energy such as building integrated photovoltaics, and sustainable materials.

Culp said that 2019 code efforts and changes are expected to focus on thermal bridging in opaque area, including the wall/window intersection, as well as air leakage requirements, including a possible increase in stringency for overall building.

Culp also addressed some changes to California’s Title 24. He said that while there are no changes to fenestration requirements (they are the same in 2019 as 2016, 2013),  new “carrots” or incentives for advanced daylighting techniques are expected to be added. The code will provide a power adjustment factor credit toward lighting power for using envelope features that provide better light savings. These can include clearstory windows, fixed slats/louvers and light shelves. Though this code does not currently include light redirecting films or dynamic glazing, they could possibly be added in the next cycle. He said while this is optional, it could be an important incentive for lighting designers.

The BEC Conference wrapped up today. Stay tuned to™ for more news and reports.