New IECC language clarifies roof thermal requirements for existing building reroof
Bethesda, MD, January 10, 2014 – Changes have occurred. Most importantly when existing roofs (that are part of the building’s thermal envelope) are removed and also replaced. Moreover when the roof assembly includes above-deck insulation.
Now I say folks the energy code now also requires that the insulation levels comply with the requirements for new construction.
For this most noteworthy is according to a proposal approved by International Code Council at public comment hearings held in October 2013.
As a result of this proposal approval, the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) also includes new language. All that provides unambiguous direction. Especially on how the energy code provisions apply to roof repair. Also and in addition to roof recover and roof replacement.
Each year about 2.5 billion square feet of roof coverings are also installed on existing buildings. The opportunity to upgrade the insulation levels on these roof systems occurs once every several decades.
So when the roof is replaced or even longer when existing roofs are “recovered”. Until recently this requirement was prescribed using vague and confusing language.
For example, as I reported before:
The replacement or resurfacing of conventional roofing materials with just improved reflective roof coatings could offer building owners energy savings. I mean of up to 25 percent on air conditioning. As well as up from to 15 percent savings with existing cool roof coatings. This would reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 5 metric tons. All and for every 10,000 square feet of commercial building roof area.
Now this code doesn’t include that but maybe one day!
Moving forward the IECC will use the same definitions. All found in the International Building code:
The process of recovering or replacing an existing roof covering. Now I think that’s exceptionally important. For it reuses previous roofing materials for other jobs.
So the process of installing an additional roof covering. Especially over a prepared existing roof covering. I don’t like that idea. Because that’s also without removing the existing roof covering.
The process of removing the existing roof covering. Now I like that because it’s also repairing any damaged substrate. Finally and installing a new roof covering.
Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof. All most importantly for the purposes of its maintenance.
The clarification to the 2015 IECC also makes the code easier. All to interpret and also enforce. Along the way, it also will help ensure the opportunity to save energy. All most importantly and when replacing roofs.
In conclusion and another benefit of this update is that the exemption for roof repair. For it is now clearly defined. Thereby making it easier for building owners and roofing contractors. All to perform routine maintenance. Especially without triggering energy efficiency upgrades. Finally and which would add costs.