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BIAW energy code proposal clears first hurdle

May 31, 2022

The Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) Residential Energy Code Technical Advisory Group (TAG) approved BIAW’s performance pathway proposal Friday.

BIAW’s performance pathway proposal allows builders of new construction to use simulated performance alternatives to demonstrate a home meets or exceeds required energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions outlined in the state’s residential energy code.

Flexibility helps green builders and future homeowners

BIAW argued the prescriptive code is useful for some builders. However, builders who specialize in high-performance building should have the opportunity to design and build homes that still meet (or exceed) the code without mandatory requirements outlined in the prescriptive compliance table of the energy code.

This also allows builders without expertise in high-performance building to expand their knowledge with the help of third-party consultants that are less costly than the requirements of the prescriptive code path.

Allowing builders to follow a performance pathway gives them the flexibility to use or expand their technical knowledge while simultaneously allowing them to consider the overall costs to the home buyer.

Next steps

Congratulations to BIAW’s Policy and Research Manager Andrea Smith for successfully clearing this first hurdle toward approval. The proposal comes before the entire SBCC this fall.

The next meeting of the Energy Code TAG is June 3. 


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