Here are the guidelines builders may need to follow less than a year from now unless any amendments are made and passed for the remaining legislative year:
•• A new Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path, a 4th option, has been added in addition to the current prescriptive, trade-off, and performance-based paths. HERS is the best known ERI.
•• ERI gives more options in materials choice, technologies, trade-offs because of increased efficiency in HVAC and other appliances required by federal DOE manufacturing standards than the simulated performance path.
•• Requirement for the outlet behind the refrigerator to be AFCI (Arc Fault) protected.
•• The code, as written, calls for much tighter ducts (4%) and building envelope (<5 ACH50 Climate Zone 2:<3 ACH50 for CZ: 3&4) (Down from <7 ACH50).
•• Whole house mechanical ventilation is mandatory at those levels.
•• The 2015 IECC Wall Impacts: R20 (cavity) insulation or R13 + 5 foam thermal sheathing in Climate Zone 3 and 4 (large portions of Georgia, may require 2 x 6 wall construction (not 2 X 4) in the prescriptive path.
•• Suggestions have been made to make DET verifiers and HERS raters totally independent third-party inspectors –no connection to builder or HVAC.