MA Energy Code Commercial Scoping Requirements

In our blog post on June 10th, we identified that the Board of Building Regulations & Standards (BBRS) agreed in principle to extend the concurrency period for the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) adoption to January 1, 2021. The next logical questions you might have about the new code adoption is: (1) how does it affect the compliance options that are available for my future projects? and (2) what are the major impacts that I need to be aware of? This blog post is intended to answer Question #1 by outlining the updated scoping requirements for applying the commercial energy efficiency provisions. A future blog post will highlight a major code impact that all designers need to be aware of, so stay tuned!

There are multiple compliance methods for energy efficiency outlined in 780 CMR Chapter 13. There is a sequential order of evaluation that should be followed to determine the applicable scoping requirements for a given project.

1. Stretch Energy Code Application (IECC C401.2(1)(b)) – if the project meets the following criteria, the Stretch Code will apply and energy use per square foot on either a site or source energy basis must be demonstrated to be 10% below the energy requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 Appendix G. The additional Efficiency Package Options selected as per IECC C406.1 should be included in calculating the baseline building performance value.

a. Is located in a Stretch Code Community

b. Is a new construction project

c. Is any building > 100,000 GSF or is a supermarket, laboratory, or conditioned warehouse > 40,000 SF

Note that the project must also comply with 780 CMR 13.00 including sections C401.2, C402.1.5, C402.3, C405.3, C405.4, C405.9, and C406.

2. Non-Stretch Energy Code Application (IECC C401.2) – Commercial buildings not subject to the Stretch Energy Code have the option to comply with one of the following methods:

a. ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Path: Apply ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2016 edition

i. General: As modified by IECC C402.3, C405.3, C405.4, C405.9, and C406.
ii. Appendix G: As modified by the sections above as well as IECC C401.2 and C402.1.5.

b. IECC Prescriptive Path: Follow the requirements of the IECC Sections C402 through C405. In addition, buildings are required to comply with Section C406 and tenant spaces with Section C406.1.1.

c. IECC Certified Performance Path: The requirements of IECC C407, C402.3, C405, and C408 apply, which outline a calculated methodology.

3. Additional Efficiency Packages – Where any option above except for Option 2c (IECC Certified Performance Path) is selected, at least three of the following enhancements are required to be selected for use on the project (IECC C406.1):

a. More efficient HVAC performance in accordance with Section C406.2

b. Reduced lighting power density system in accordance with Section C406.3

c. Enhanced lighting controls in accordance with Section C406.4

d. On-site supply of renewable energy in accordance with Section C406.5

e. Provision of a dedicated outdoor air system for certain HVAC equipment in accordance with Section C406.6

f. High-efficiency service water heating in accordance with Section C406.7

g. Enhanced envelope performance in accordance with Section C406.8

h. Reduced air-infiltration in accordance with Section C406.9

i. Renewable space heating in accordance with Section C406.10

j. Type IV Heavy Timber construction in accordance with C406.11.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have energy code scoping questions and how they apply to your specific project.