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Cutting through Code Confusion: A New R-Value Guide for Roofs and Walls

Format On Demand: Article/Print
Offered by Environmental Design & Construction
Category Energy and atmosphere

Since 1994, the International Codes, or I-Codes, have served as models for almost all state and local codes in the United States. The 2012 edition of the I-Codes includes several landmark advances to increase energy efficiency in buildings. Not only does the 2012International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) include new and higher standards for almost every component in the building envelope,but these standards are further increased in the new International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which is intended to serve as anoverlay code, or #above the code# standard for sustainable buildings.

Although the significant advancement in energy efficiencyin the 2012 I-Codes is considered to be beneficial by energy experts, the number of new options available may be confusing to the non-expert. In an effort to assist building designers and contractors, the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association and have published a Roof and Wall Thermal Design Guide for interested building professionals.


1. Understand the features and benefits behind the new prescriptive thermal value requirements in the 2012 I-Codes and how these requirements support increased building sustainability.
2. Identify the basic types of roof and wall assemblies covered by the I-Codes and how prescriptive thermal requirements are calculated for each assembly.
3. Understand how the CEIR / PIMA Roof and Wall Thermal Design Guide is organized and how building professionals can use the guide to better understand the thermal design standards of the 2012 I-Codes.
4. Gain proficiency in using the guide to determine prescriptive roof and wall thermal values for typical roof and wall constructions.

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