Improve the Value of Codes, Standards and Certifications

Our Goal: Lead member company efforts to speak out against harmful policies and to advocate and lobby for beneficial policies that ensure a level playing field and spur economic and workforce development, environmental and other benefits for our industry, its workers and customers.

Activities Underway

NCBPA staff, members and partners are already hard at work on a wealth of activities related to this strategic initiative.  Here are some of the highlights found in our new 2020 Strategic Plan:

Single and Multifamily Homes:

  1. Develop resources and educate stakeholders to position HERS Ratings/Energy Rating Indexes to be required by 2022.
  2. Resubmit prior proposals with needed changes to ERI tables confirmed rating requirements to ensure quality assurance with ERIs.
  3. Define desirable code change requirements for crawl space and attic encapsulation in new and existing homes.
  4. Improve industry awareness of Duke Energy’s current special utility rates for ENERGY STAR homes, as well as potential changes.
  5. Assess opportunities to address available improvements to water conservation requirements in NC’s code and state-based programs.
  6. Continue to lead opposition on code change proposals that seek to roll back or diminish energy efficiency code requirements.
  7. Continue efforts to raise minimum energy requirements and offer developer incentives in NCHFA’s Qualified Allocation Plan.
  8. Continue stakeholder education on the value of Passive House, zero net energy and other certification programs and principles.
  9. Improve the perception of high performance and energy efficiency’s role in providing a positive impact on housing affordability with key stakeholder groups including legislators, residential builders, local HBAs and NCHBA.
  10. Target “regular builders” on steps they can take to build to above code standards without adding much, if any, additional cost while improving quality, performance, value, customer satisfaction, etc.

Commercial, Industrial and Public Buildings:

  1. Implement code changes that require more stringent prescriptive and reporting requirements MEP and envelope commissioning.
  2. Improve minimum energy and performance requirements in new school construction and major renovations.
  3. Continue stakeholder education on the value of Passive House, zero net energy and other certification programs and principles.

Policies and Regulations:

  1. Take action through the Building Code Council or Legislature to recognize the contribution of Non-Energy Benefits (NEBs) (safety, durability, maintenance, etc.) provided in code mandated requirements in order to enable new regulated utility incentive programs.
  2. Develop an industry-supported energy code cost-benefit analysis methodology and process to address legislative requirements dictated in 2019’s HB675 that have yet to be addressed by the Building Code Council.
  3. Develop a long-term pathway for requiring zero net energy new homes and buildings statewide by 2042.
  4. Assess the ability to offer additional energy code compliance pathways Passive House, LEED, Zero Net Energy Ready, etc.

Key Stakeholder Education and Advocacy:

  1. Increase education efforts of Building Code Council, code officials and key stakeholders on the value of energy code requirements.
  2. Develop pathway for modifying NC’s energy code exemptions for new and existing buildings of types Factory, Storage and Utility.
  3. Through education and advocacy of up-front costs vs. long-term benefits and value, make progress in transitioning the NCHBA-led prevailing notion that the up-front costs of energy and performance measures have a negative impact on housing affordability.
  4. Develop resources that offer code officials inexpensive or free education on key areas including energy modeling and inspections.
  5. Continue offering energy code workshops to architects, builders, contractors and other key stakeholder groups.

About North Carolina’s Codes

On January 1, 2019, North Carolina adopted its 2018 Building Code for all building types.  The energy code is based on the 2015 IECC with weakening amendments, making it most similar to the 2012 IECC.  Compared to the prior 2012 North Carolina Code, the 2018 code incorporates minor energy efficiency improvements across several measures.  Because of the customization of North Carolina’s 2018 code, neither COMcheck or REScheck are available through the Department of Energy.  One significant improvement on the residential energy code is the availability of the Energy Rating Index (ERI) as an optional pathway for residential energy code compliance.

NCBPA offers professional training for builders, contractors, code officials and others on North Carolina’s energy code.  Contact us for information on available webinars, presentations and workshops.

For more information on North Carolina’s codes, visit these websites:

Participate in this Important Work!

Industry leadership from NCBPA, member companies and partners is needed to increase the prioritization, profile, importance and credibility of increased stringency in minimum energy efficiency requirements, and available above-code options, for North Carolina’s new and existing building and energy code. Several solutions are available for doing so.

Efforts are also needed to steer key stakeholders including NC Building Code Council members, legislators and stakeholder organizations – most notably the NC Home Builders Association – to a position of support for improved affordability resulting from increased stringency for minimum energy codes.  The new construction home building industry’s staunch position on affordability is a significant barrier to progress that is founded primarily in politics and lacks supporting data.

To move North Carolina’s code forward during this current cycle, NCBPA proposes implementing a variety of small changes that will yield benefits to builders and developers, contractors, utilities and North Carolina citizens and businesses.  To do so, NCBPA recommends that the state government support improving energy efficiency minimum requirements and available options in North Carolina’s residential and commercial building and energy codes.  State-level support is needed to align the Energy Efficiency First resolution’s goals and practices with the state’s current building and energy code process, led by the NC Building Code Council, whose positions are appointed by the Governor.

Join NCBPA as a member company to participate in our efforts to promote and grow our industry!  Opportunities include:

  1. Educating key legislators and stakeholders on our issues.
  2. Participating in educational workshops for code officials and others.
  3. Funding NCBPA’s research, advocacy and lobbying efforts.

Additional Code Resources