How Austin’s Energy Code affects your plans
The City of Austin rolled out their local amendments which are in addition to the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code. These new codes/ordinance became effective September 1, 2016. Since then, many of you have asked about these stricter requirements and how they affect your exterior wall construction: “Will I need to increase my exterior walls to 2×6?” for example. Below we’ve excerpted a few of the most common solutions to increase your R-value on what the City of Austin is requiring.
- R-19 wall system: 2 x 6 framing with Batts Insulation in cavity
- R-15+2 wall system: 2 x 4 framing with Blown in Blanket insulation system (BIBS) in cavity plus R-2 continuous insulation or insulated siding (non-insulated structural sheathing shall cover no more than 25% of the exterior).
- R-13+3 wall system: 2 x 4 framing with Batts insulation in cavity plus R-3 continuous insulation or insulated siding (non-insulated structural sheathing shall cover no more than 25% of the exterior).
We’re happy to revise your sets to reflect the particular method you opt if structural changes are needed to comply. If you use spray foam insulation for example, no [frame] changes to the plans are needed. If you prefer batt, wider studs and a simple note referencing additional insulated sheathing may be necessary. We strive to keep informed of current issues facing our clients, and look forward to helping during this transition.
Other factors such as glazing and mechanical equipment may also factor in to your decision. We’re happy to discuss options with you and your ResCheck team.
The summary overview is linked: http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=250447
The full Ordinance No. 20160623-099 can be found here: http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Development_Services/Inspections/2015_IECC_Final_Ordinance.pdf