MRC_Book_CoverIntroduction to the new Michigan Energy Code for 2015: Part 1

Effective Date: February 8, 2016

This means that all new homes and some additions and renovations permitted AFTER February 8, 2016 must comply with these new code standards.

This new code contains some HUGE changes from previous versions of the code, and many provisions that are difficult to convey in a short blog post. Anyone in the trades, especially builders, HVAC Contractors, and energy professionals, should buy a copy of the book from ICC. Note that with this code cycle, Michigan is not only getting a new energy code, but also new mechanical and other codes.

CRITICAL CHANGES from the 2009 Code

  • Window U-Factors must be .32 or lower
  • Crawlspace insulation is R-15 continuous or R-19 cavity
  • Blower door testing is required and the maximum allowable leakage is 4 ACH50
  • Sealed ductwork is required, and if ANY portion of the ductwork is outside the thermal envelope, it must be tested for airtightness
  • Building cavities may NOT BE USED AS DUCTS, including returns. Fully ducted systems only
  • Automatic whole house mechanical ventilation is required
  • Lights and or fixtures must be 75% CFL or LED
  • Band joist insulation needs to be covered with an air-barrier

What did NOT Change

  • Wall insulation must be minimum R-20 or R-13+5
  • Basement foundation insulation must be R-10
  • Attic R-value R-38 or R-49 (depending on climate zone 5A, 6A, or 7)

 

Stay Tuned

I’ll be writing more blog posts about the code, especially as the gray areas are clarified by the Bureau. In the next post, I’ll cover PATHS TO COMPLIANCE which may allow you to make some trade-offs to the new standards. To be notified of new blog posts, sign up for our email list at the bottom of the homepage.