Builders Association meets to explain residential energy code
By Kitty Conley firstname.lastname@example.org July 24, 2012 1:40PM
CROWN POINT — Matthew Brown of the Indiana Builders Association held a meeting July 13 to educate local builders, contractors, inspectors and planners about changes in state building codes.
Tim Henderlong of Henderlong Homes attended, though he said he has already built homes under the new rules, which include energy conservation measures.
“It’s only better if you can conserve energy. They should have done something a long time ago,” Henderlong said.
He made the comparison to the way Americans treat automobile gas mileage. No one listens until the price of gas is way up. As the cost of energy for use in the home goes up then the industry gets the rules changed to be able to lower those costs for future home buyers.
“Everything has to get better. In 2015 it is going to get even more strict,” Henderlong added.
Jim Smith, former president of the Indiana branch of the American Institute of Architects, sees this as the action that will take the amateurs out of the game.
Each home built with these standards may cost 5 to 10 percent more but each home will have the added value.
Smith primarily does commercial work. An architect is required there; one is not for a residential structure. House designers are not licensed by the state. Architects are. The town of Munster requires homes to have architects, other communities do not.
The big townhouse fire that destroyed homes in Lakes of the Four Seasons was arson. Part of the cause for the wild spread of the fire is that even though the attics were separated by firewalls, the fire was able to jump. An after-construction installer of cable television service for the townhouses cut holes in all the walls between the attic spaces to make it easier to move from one end of the complex to the other, laying the cable. It made a natural side-to-side fire path.
According to Brown there is an amendment in the Indiana house and senate floor to require labeling of all firewalls.
Local ordinances across the state might also require an inspection after any after construction installation is made. Any and all after-market installation must also follow the Indiana and local building codes.
The session by Brown included the new regulations for insulation. Depending on the type of path taken to reach the new requirements and testing for the 2012 Residential Energy Code could add anywhere from $1, 000 to $2,000 to the cost of a home.
Brown and builders like Henderlong are trying to get the state to include some sort of introduction of outside air into a home to offset the super tight seal. With the various products that go into a new home there are some chemicals that are released in the air, from carpets, paint, and wood composites.
It is too concentrated without fresh air being introduced into the home. Opening a door or window will do that, also.