The new International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for commercial buildings will help ensure that buildings reach new levels of energy efficiency. The implementation of the new 2018 IECC, effective in Philadelphia on October 1, 2018, will present some specific challenges for the design and code enforcement community and likely has many professionals concerned about how the cost of construction will be affected. By implementing designs that incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based analytics, power of ethernet (PoE), and digital electricity (DE), designers can assure their clients that their buildings will meet both the new code requirements and their construction budgets.
Impact of new IECC on building controls: A definite trend on control systems for greater energy efficiency in commercial buildings
It would be overly optimistic to try to provide a brief outline of the mandatory IECC requirements and how they differ from those that have been in place for the last decade. Between the two different codes, multiple compliance paths, and inclusion of ten years of advances in HVAC and lighting technology, providing such a summary is outside the scope of this blog post.
However, it is clear that there is a definite trend in the IECC to rely upon control systems to achieve the more aggressive levels of efficiency. Both codes have mandatory requirements for lighting and HVAC control sequences that vary according to changes in occupancy, load, and environmental conditions. The building automation and lighting control systems that implement these strategies increase in complexity and rely upon new levels of sensor data.
This data is necessary not only to achieve efficiency but also to play an integral role in fault detection & diagnostics (FDD), commissioning, and measurement & verification (M&V). These mandatory requirements of the new IECC are dependent upon accurate, accessible, and manageable data. This new environment in turn places new importance on the networks that share this information not just between internal users, but also between other building systems and owner applications.
It would be easy to believe that the complexity of the systems required by the new IECC will increase the cost of implementation. However, these costs can be offset by the savings generated by integrating these building systems through converged networks. By eliminating the duplication of sensors, controllers, software, and wiring, significant installation and maintenance savings can be achieved.
Commissioning applications that allow access to building automation systems and lighting control systems without proprietary software
As commissioning becomes standard practice for commercial buildings (except those less than 40 tons of cooling capacity and 600MBH of combined service water heating and space-heating capacity), commissioning agents will have to be more productive with their time to remain competitive. Graboyes Smart Buildings offers commissioning applications that allow access to building automation systems (BAS) and lighting control systems any time, any place, without the use of proprietary software. This can help reduce off-site labor costs and decrease the time associated with functional performance testing.
To verify that buildings are meeting the efficiency reduction required by the optional performance path, code enforcement officials need to ensure that the building is in compliance and can rely upon the guidance provided through the International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol (IPMVP). IPMVP Option D is one means to consider, and the DeltaMeter™, which is IPMVP Option D compliant, provides a very accurate and cost-effective solution compared to manual calculations.
Fault detection & diagnostics is also new to the IECC. Many BAS companies offer this functionality as an add-on accessory to their system or provide it as a component of the service agreement. BuildPulse is a, cost-effective third-party fault detection and diagnostics application that can be added to a variety of building automation systems. It provides a watch-dog approach to ensure that the building automation system is achieving the agreed-upon key performance objectives (KPO) as well as meeting the mandatory requirements as outlined in the IECC.
Finally, power over ethernet (PoE) luminaire-level lighting control systems can meet all the control strategies required by IECC 2018 while reducing installation and operating expenses. PoE offers significant installation cost savings over traditionally powered systems while creating the backbone for the converged network upon which integrated building systems (HVAC BAS, lighting, security, A/V, etc.) can be installed, operated and maintained.
Some parting thoughts on the new 2018 IECC and a more sustainable future
Navigating the new IECC can be a challenge. If you are concerned about the impact of the code and/or would like to know more about how we can help your organization, feel free to reach out to us. We would be glad to have a discussion or even provide a lunch-and-learn presentation specific to your needs.
Keep in mind, Graboyes Smart Buildings is just one part of the Graboyes family of companies. We can also assist you with the installation of high efficiency glazing solutions as well as provide financing solutions for deep energy efficiency upgrades. These are all ways the Graboyes companies are helping to build a more sustainable future.