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SmarterBuildings® | CODES & REGULATIONS ICC Concludes 2013 Code Cycle The Energy code draws a large number of proposed changes By Ron Burton I t has been another busy year for code development. In its 2013 cycle, the International Code Council (ICC) considered changes for the Fire, Energy, Existing Buildings, Property Maintenance, and Residential codes. Final action public hearings were held Oct. 2–10 in Atlantic City, NJ, where the content of the 2015 ICC editions was determined by the voting membership. The Energy code typically prompts more proposals than any other building- related section, and that fact was reflected in a total of some 2,200 proposals put forth in 2013, almost double the changes submitted in 2012. Nevertheless, ICC vot- ing members seemed to stay the course set in 2010, and showed no inclination for significant increases or decreases in the strictness of the code. ICC voters approved Energy code proposals to add additional trade-off options for compliance calculations and an exemption to envelope air barrier requirements for sprinkler heads and other system elements. They disapproved a proposal to delete the current option to comply with ASHRAE Standard 90.1, a move that maintains maximum flexibility for code compliance. Other disapproved energy proposals included: ■  Retro-commissioning for energy and mechanical systems in existing build- ings every five years ■  Inspection of existing building com- pliance with current Energy code requirements triggered by any permit application ■  Solar-ready provisions, including dedi- cated roof space, for all buildings ■  Increased new construction insulation levels for wall, floor, roof and windows ■  Whole-building air barrier testing ■  Installation of automatic HVAC system shut-off switching on all operable win- dows and sliding doors ■  Auto shut-off controls for 50% of elec- trical receptacles ■  Requirement for all vestibule walls to meet the same efficiency levels as exterior walls ■  Mandatory reduced lighting power in unoccupied stairways and garages, 20 BUILDINGS 12.13 creating potential tenant safety issues Extensive installation of electric and water metering devices ■  Mandatory hot water system commis- sioning. ■  Firefighter Air Breathing Requirement Moves into the Appendix Among the proposals for the Fire code were a costly requirement for firefighter air breathing replenishment systems and one for sprinkler retrofits in existing high- rise buildings. Voting members approved moving these requirements into an appen- dix of the code, which leaves the decision on implementation to the local jurisdic- tions when adopting the 2015 codes. Members disapproved a wide variety of fire proposals, including: ■  Re-inspection of fire safety systems every five years, plus additional fees to fund inspector certification programs ■  Retroactive compliance with current Fire code and accessibility provisions in existing buildings ■  Retroactive sprinkler system installation for all business occupancies over three stories and all hotels and motels of any height ■  Retroactive whole-building sprinkler system installation if an assembly oc- cupancy such as a club is added to an existing building ■  Mandatory retrofit of locking access port caps on all HVAC refrigerant lines ■  New powers for fire officials to declare building fire alarms emitting an unde- fined number of false alarms a nuisance and trigger mandatory remote system monitoring ■  Elevator emergency recall and opera- tion retrofits for all buildings less than 55 feet in height. In regard to the Existing Buildings and Property Maintenance codes, ICC voters disapproved the following: ■  Renewal of building certificate of oc- cupancy every five years ■  A mandatory mold inspection prior to sale of any property ■  Mold inspection and remediation of all existing buildings