The International Code Council’s (ICC) 2009 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), a model energy code adopted by many states, contains a number of lighting-related provisions that lighting designers are likely to find objectionable.

One area of concern is that the 2009 IECC eliminates mixing methodologies from ASHRAE 90.1 as an alternative standard. All projects must show compliance with either 2009 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2007 in total. Eliminating the allowance of ASHRAE 90.1 as an autonomously alternative compliance standard removes an important tool when designing lighting in more complex spaces, as ASHRAE, while more complicated, offers greater flexibility.

Another area of concern is retail lighting. The 2009 IECC reduces additional power allowances for display lighting to nominally one-half of the values permitted in ASHRAE 90.1-2007. This will likely have a dramatic impact on retail display lighting.

And yet another is a residential lighting provision that requires at least 50% of the lamps in permanently installed luminaires be high-efficacy lamps, with the compliance threshold set at efficacies (lumens/W) achievable only by screw-in or pin-based fluorescent lamps such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The loose nature of this language makes it vulnerable to cheats and gaming, and may actually promote the addition of more luminaires than needed. An amendment was offered that allowed halogen other non-compliant light sources as long as they were controlled by occupancy sensors or dimmers, but it was not accepted, and a real energy savings opportunity is therefore not being realized.

I’ll be posting an in-depth comparison of the 2009 IECC with the 2006 IECC soon…

To get a copy of the 2009 IECC, visit the International Code Council’s website.