2014 CHANGES TO THE FLORIDA BUILDING CODE, ENERGY CONSERVATION
Fewer Florida specifics are integrated into the document. IECC are us.
The base document is the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
Although one document, the low rise residential and commercial/high rise residential provisions are separated into two sub-documents; Lots of duplication in definitions, standards, appendices
Sections have the same numbers—but with a “C” or an “R” in front of them. Expect confusion.
Computer programs to be used for energy code compliance shall be approved by the Florida Building Commission. They must utilize the Standard Reference Design (baselines) and other criteria from Section C407 (commercial) and R405 (residential) and demonstrate validity by use of criteria in the Energy Simulation Tool Approval Technical Assistance Manual.
The Standard Reference Design (SRD) features will no longer be Florida specific; they will be taken from Table C4075.1(commercial) and Table R405.5.2 (low-rise residential) of the IECC.
The 20 percent increase in stringency achieved by use of a 0.80 multiplier applied to the entire Standard Reference Design is no longer in the code.
The requirements of Florida’s prescriptive compliance method no longer reflect a building that would minimally comply with Florida’s performance-based code. They set the baselines for the Performance Method.
The computer programs must print out in a format familiar to the building departments inspecting for code compliance. Commercial code compliance no longer has a performance-based form.
Commercial and high-rise residential buildings
Commercial buildings determined by the code official to have a limited energy use or special use requirement may have code requirements adjusted by the code official where nationally recognized energy analysis procedures are used to demonstrate that the building would use less energy than a code compliant building. In other words, the code official has the authority to say another program can be used.
There will be 5 compliance methods available for commercial building code compliance:
Prescriptive envelope efficiencies per Tables C402.1.2, C402.2
Performance envelope & system efficiencies per Section C407
The requirements of ASHRAE 90.1-2010
The Prescriptive Path (Section 5.5)
The Building Envelope Trade-Off Option (Section 5.6)
The Energy Cost Budget Method (Section 11)
HVAC equipment updated to ASHRAE 90.1-10 (some addenda) and published federal efficiencies
A/c system efficiencies are once again listed separately for electric resistance heating systems and “all other”
Requirements are added for air conditioners and condensing units serving computer rooms.
Requirements are added for variable refrigerant flow multi-split air conditioners and heat pumps
Mechanical/lighting system commissioning/completion are required (Section C408)
Buildings where the total cooling capacity is <480,000 Btu/h and heating capacity <600,000 Btu/h
Systems in Sec. C403.3 that serve dwelling units or sleeping units in hotels, boarding houses, or similar units
Commissioning plan to include narrative description, list of specific equipment/functions to be tested, test conditions
Air system balancing, hydronic system balancing
Functional performance testing required on equipment, economizers
Preliminary commissioning report by registered design professional, acceptance of report from building owner, copy to code official
Lighting system functional testing, documentation to official
Motor requirements revert to federal efficiencies until the next code cycle.
Low-rise residential buildings
Air infiltration requirements have changed.
Blower door test required to demonstrate air infiltrations is ≤5 Air Changes per Hour (ACH)
Section R303.4 of the Florida Building Code, Residential, requires mechanical ventilation for dwellings with ≤5 ACH
Required air flow per FBC-R Table M1507.3.3(1)
Recessed lights shall be IC-rated and labeled to meet ASTM E 283
Residential lighting: 75% of lights must be high-efficacy lamps except low voltage lighting
Swimming pool requirements not much changed
Gas pool heaters will have to meet the national standard of 82% thermal efficiency; no standing pilot light
Heat pump pool heaters (except geothermal) shall have a minimum COP of 4.0 when tested to AHRI 1160, Table 2; test report required
Heated pools shall have a vapor-retardant cover or a liquid cover or some other means to reduce heat loss.
Except: where >70% of energy is derived from site-recovered energy, such as a heat pump or solar energy source
Pool filtration pump motors installed on new pools shall meet ANSI/APSP-15.
Florida equipment “Standard Reference Design” (baselines) did NOT go to “same as Proposed Design” as in the IECC.
The IECC does not give credit for higher efficiency systems
Florida follows federal law, which requires state codes with baselines to have equipment baselines at federal minimums.
Credits may be claimed as per previous performance-based code.
HVAC equipment and distribution systems
Because most residential equipment is covered by federal law, other minimum equipment efficiencies are referenced to the Commercial Provisions in Section C403.2.3 from Section R303.1.2.
A programmable thermostat is only required for compliance by Section R402; credit is provided by Section R405.
Expect a minimum SEER 14 in January, 2015
Ducts in unconditioned space shall be insulated to R-8 in attics and R-6 in other locations.
Duct construction and sealing requirements are referred to the Commercial Provisions in Section C403.2.7.2. They are no longer in the Mechanical code; Section 102.1 of the Florida Building Code, Building, specifies that “Where there is a conflict between a general requirement and a specific requirement, the specific requirement shall be applicable.”
Testing ducts to be “substantially air tight” (Qn ≤ 0.03) is only required for Section R402, the Prescriptive Method; credit is provided by Section R405. Duct testing shall be by an energy rater certified in accordance with Section 553.99, Florida Statutes, or as authorized by Florida Statutes.
The Residential UA Alternative compliance method is NOT a performance-based method but is allowed to be used. Computer programs used to determine code compliance by this method shall also be approved by the Florida Building Commission but are not subject to provisions of the Energy Simulation Tool Approval Technical Assistance Manual.