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What is the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)?

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), published by the International Code Council®(ICC), is a model code that regulates minimum energy conservation requirements for new buildings. The IECC addresses energy conservation requirements for all aspects of energy use in both commercial and residential construction, including heating and ventilating, lighting, water heating and power usage for appliances and building systems.

The IECC is a design document. Before construction of a building, for example, the designer must determine the minimum insulation R-values and fenestration U-factors for the building exterior envelope. Depending on whether the building is for residential use or for commercial use, the IECC sets forth minimum requirements for exterior envelope insulation, window and door U-factors and SHGC ratings, duct insulation, lighting and power efficiency and water distribution insulation.

Arrangement and Format of the IECC

The IECC contains two separate sets of provisions—one for commercial buildings and one for residential buildings. Each set of provisions applies separately to buildings within their scope. The IECC—Commercial Provisions apply to all buildings except for residential buildings three stories or less in height. The IECC—Residential Provisions apply to detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings as well as Group R-2, R-3 and R-4 buildings three stories or less in height. These scopes are based on the definitions of “commercial building” and “residential building,” respectively, in Chapter 2 of each set of provisions.

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