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Energy code compliance is an essential consideration for commercial construction projects. Understanding building codes and the requirements needed to comply with them is crucial. In this blog post, we’ll look at the benefits of energy code compliance in commercial construction, the strategies for implementing energy code compliance, and the cost-benefit analysis of energy code compliance. We’ll also discuss the common mistakes to avoid regarding building codes when planning a project.

What Is Energy Code Compliance?

Energy code compliance
 refers to meeting the requirements of building energy codes set by local, state, or federal governments. These codes are designed to ensure that buildings use energy efficiently and are constructed to meet safety and environmental standards. Energy code compliance involves using energy-efficient building materials, construction processes, and systems.

When undertaking a commercial construction project, it is vital to understand the requirements of the energy codes and how they will affect the project. Energy codes are constantly changing and evolving, so staying informed and up-to-date on the latest codes and requirements is essential.

Benefits of Energy Code Compliance

Energy code compliance offers many benefits for commercial construction projects. Compliance with energy codes can reduce energy costs, improve the building’s energy performance, and increase the sustainability of the building. Buildings up to code are more likely to be energy efficient. This can result in lower energy bills and improved comfort and air quality. 

Additionally, energy code compliance can help reduce the environmental impact of the building, as it reduces the amount of energy consumed and the number of emissions released into the atmosphere. As sustainability continues to be a popular value for many companies, industries, and investors, working on projects that are code compliant will help your reputation. 

Two G.S. & S. project managers accessing a construction site

Understanding Building Energy Codes

Before embarking on a project, you should understand the requirements of the building energy codes. Building energy codes are typically divided into two categories: prescriptive and performance.

The prescriptive code focuses on the materials used in construction and the systems implemented in the building. This type of code requires specific materials and systems to ensure energy efficiency.

The performance code focuses on how the building performs regarding energy efficiency and sustainability. This type of code sets energy efficiency goals for the building and requires that the building meet those goals to comply with the code.

Implementing Energy Code Compliance

To comply with energy codes, the commercial construction team must ensure that the code’s requirements are met. This involves creating an energy compliance plan, identifying energy-efficient building materials, selecting energy-efficient systems, and implementing energy-efficient construction processes.

When creating an energy compliance plan, it is essential to consider the project’s goals and budget. The plan should identify the measures that need to be taken to ensure energy code compliance and outline the steps that need to be taken to achieve those measures.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Energy Code Compliance

The costs associated with energy code compliance include the materials and systems which meet the code, the cost of implementing energy-efficient construction processes, and any additional training your construction team needs to ensure compliance. The benefits of energy code compliance include lower energy costs, improved energy performance, increased sustainability, improved marketability, and increased safety and environmental standards. 

For most projects, the benefits will outweigh the costs without question. However, working with your development team, you can come up with a more detailed cost-benefit analysis to identify any areas of the project that should be modified for the budget while still adhering to the code.

Aerial shot of a G. S. & S. construction project

Common Mistakes With Energy Code Compliance

Staying code compliant not only helps to reduce energy costs and improve sustainability, but it also helps you to keep in line with regulations set by local and state governments. The biggest mistake is forgetting to research energy building codes (or any other building codes) and going ahead with the project. Some commercial construction companies also need to train their workers to work with the building materials or systems that will be used. 

Another shortcoming can be not using innovative materials – just because similar buildings met energy codes and have been successful doesn’t mean your project has to be a carbon copy. Looking into new materials to use and systems can set your building apart and indent your value of sustainability. 

Work With G. S. & S.

At G. S. & S. Construction, we understand the importance of energy code compliance and are committed to helping our clients meet the requirements of energy codes. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure energy code compliance for your commercial construction project. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you meet the requirements of energy codes.