Understanding the IECC 2012 Standards for Skylights and Daylighting Systems

IECC 2012 Standards for Skylights
IECC 2012 is an energy code for residential and commercial buildings.

The International Energy Conservation Code 2012, better known as IECC 2012, is an energy code aimed at residential and commercial buildings that’s updated once per three years by the International Code Council.

The more recent version is IECC 2012 – a comprehensive standard for residential and commercial energy conservation that covers everything from home insulation to daylighting for large industrial buildings.

IECC 2012 is an ambitious code, outlining specific examples of how energy can be saved in the workplace and in educational environments and providing a detailed standard for businesses and public organizations to follow.

In addition to being ambitious, it’s incredibly detailed. Try reading IECC 2012 and there’s a good chance you’ll be lost in its detail, even if you have a deep knowledge of energy efficiency and building design.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the most important aspects of IECC 2012 for your business and cover some of the details of the code that are often lost in the volume of information in the full 2012 version.

IECC 2012 prescriptive provisions for commercial buildings

When it comes to lighting, IECC 2012 offers mandatory and prescriptive information for building owners. In the prescriptive section, IECC 2012 covers a range of energy efficiency factors that are required for a commercial building to meet the code.

These include the use of occupancy sensors in many commercial spaces, including staff break rooms, bathrooms, individual offices and more. Interior spaces of 300 square feet or less are required to use occupancy sensors to limit light usage.

These sensors need to provide manual controls for users so that lights can be turned on, off and to 50% operation with ease. In order to meet the code, sensors also need to switch lights off automatically after 30 minutes of non-activity within the space.

IECC 2012 also specifies that commercial buildings need to have daylight harvesting occurring in zones of defined, consistent natural light, and that lighting in areas of a building that receive continual daylight to be controlled individually.

Finally, the 2012 version of the IECC provides specific power usage allowances for a variety of interior daylighting systems in commercial environments. These lighting standard differ from office and warehouse environments to retail stores.

Retail stores receive the highest lighting energy usage allowance, with a maximum of 1.5W per square foot accepted. Offices face a 1W restriction per square foot and warehouses a 0.8W per square foot maximum energy usage level.

The extra power allowance allowed for retail lighting has also been reduced in the 2012 version of the IECC, giving retail businesses a base level of just 500W – down from 1,000W in IECC 2009, for additional lighting displays.

Meeting the IECC 2012 energy efficiency standards

IECC 2012 might seem complicated and overly detailed, but in reality its standards for lighting are fairly straightforward and simple for businesses. Although it’s strict in many ways, IECC 2012 represents a great standard for businesses to aspire to.

From lighting to insulation, energy efficiency is one of the most important topics in modern building design and construction. Is your building as energy efficient as it could be? If not, could IECC 2012 be the standard you should hold your building to?

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