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Coalition takes whole building approach to codes

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:58

The newly formed Advanced Building Coalition had its inaugural meeting Oct. 24 in Chicago, bringing manufacturers and other industry players together to discuss building codes for energy savings that best serve all parties while providing the most beneficial whole-building savings. The meeting challenged attendees to consider the possibility of 30 percent energy savings over current codes. In addition, speakers asked players to come together to determine what code development process best serves the energy performance of the whole building, rather than just one aspect of the building. Below, read a Q&A with one of the founding coalition members, Thom Zaremba, partner for Roetzel & Andress, Toledo.

What’s the purpose of the Advanced Building Coalition? We’re really taking an out-of-the-box look at building energy codes. Instead of just focusing on the building envelope—or even rating one single product within the building envelope—we’re focusing on the whole building. We’re looking at lighting, HVAC, the envelope, even replacement [glazing] units. … Further, we’re trying to find the most cost-effective way to do this.

What are some problems with current code development processes? In some cases, building codes are being used to exclude products from the marketplace. We don’t want to see that. … We thought we would hold an open forum and give the stakeholders an opportunity to discuss the codes, compromise and find common ground to develop a proposal people can live with. We’re all interested in increased efficiency—it’s how we can do it together.

Is the coalition just focused on energy codes? Right now, yes. However, there are numerous points where energy efficiency and life safety intersect. So, it could extend its reach to structural, life safety and energy. We had several members attend the first meeting who involved in fire protection.

How did ABC come to fruition? In September of last year, a few of us in the industry began discussing a need for an energy code process that focused on more than just specific building component products. I invited a number of people I knew from a number of industries to meet in September of this year in Baltimore, and we formed the coalition with members [including AGC Flat Glass, Atlanta; Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators - Window Film Committee, Martinsville, Va.; Aluminum Extruders Council, Wauconda, Ill.; Birch Point Consulting, La Crosse, Wis.; JRuth Consulting, New Lenox, Ill.; and Pilkington North America, Toledo.

Who attended the first meeting? We had about 55 to 60 people. Speakers from the University of Washington, the chief building inspector for Michigan, representatives from the filmmakers association, the fire and energy side, and many major manufacturers—Pella [Corp. of Pella, Iowa]; Pilkington; AGC Flat Glass; Oldcastle Glass [of Santa Monica, Calif.], numerous other window makers, wall insulation manufacturers, the paper industry and wood industry, and iron and steel industry representatives.

What’s next for ABC? We expect to keep growing. This is the first time there has been a forum to work out issues among competing interests about the proposed changes to the building codes before the [International Code Council] hearings. We’re holding the second coalition forum Jan. 8 in Dallas/Fort Worth. And we plan a third open forum in Palm Springs, Calif., in February, right before the hearings.Share this article:

Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/coalition-takes-whole-building-approach-codesAuthor:

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