WSR 11-17-123

EMERGENCY RULES

BUILDING CODE COUNCIL


[ Filed August 23, 2011, 3:43 p.m. , effective August 23, 2011, 3:43 p.m. ]


Effective Date of Rule: Immediately.

Purpose: To extend the current emergency rule amending the 2009 Washington State Energy Code, Section 101.3.2.6 regarding duct testing and sealing in existing buildings. The proposed permanent rule has been filed under WSR 11-16-082.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 51-11-0101.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 19.27A.020, 19.27A.025, and 19.27A.045.

Other Authority: Chapters 19.27 and 34.05 RCW.

Under RCW 34.05.350 the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.

Reasons for this Finding: The state building code council (council), based on the following good cause, finds that an emergency affecting the general welfare of the state of Washington exists. The council further finds that immediate amendment of Section 101.3.2.6 of the 2009 edition of the Washington State Energy Code, revised WAC 51-11-0101, is necessary for the public welfare and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment would be contrary to the public interest.

The declaration of emergency affecting the general welfare of the citizens of the state of Washington is based on the following findings:

The Washington State Energy Code 2009 edition ("2009 Energy Code") as adopted by the council pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW was originally set to become effective on July 1, 2010. A previous emergency rule and permanent rule extended the effective date to January 1, 2011. This rule includes a provision to require duct testing and sealing in existing housing stock when a furnace is replaced. The council was approached by industry representatives who testified that this would provide a hardship to a portion of the population during the current economic climate. The cost for the testing and sealing of ducts on top of the cost of a new furnace could exceed the available budget for those whose furnaces fail this winter. On top of that, a difficult El Nino winter is forecast and could impact the health and safety of those who cannot afford a replacement unit.

The council is currently in the process of considering a permanent rule for this section. The proposed permanent rule on this topic is filed under WSR 11-16-082 and is the same as this emergency rule. Public hearings are scheduled for September 9, 2011, and October 14, 2011.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: August 23, 2011.

Kristyn Clayton

Council Chair

OTS-3813.2


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 10-03-115, 10-13-113 and 10-22-056, filed 1/20/10, 6/21/10 and 10/28/10, effective 1/1/11)

WAC 51-11-0101   Section 101 -- Scope and general requirements.  


101.1 Title: Chapters 1 through 10 of this Code shall be known as the "Washington State Single-Family Residential Energy Code" and may be cited as such; and will be referred to herein as "this Code."


101.2 Purpose and Intent: The purpose of this Code is to provide minimum standards for new or altered buildings and structures or portions thereof to achieve efficient use and conservation of energy.


The purpose of this Code is not to create or otherwise establish or designate any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefitted by the terms of this Code.


It is intended that these provisions provide flexibility to permit the use of innovative approaches and techniques to achieve efficient use and conservation of energy. These provisions are structured to permit compliance with the intent of this Code by any one of the following three paths of design:


1. A systems analysis approach for the entire building and its energy-using sub-systems which may utilize renewable energy sources, Chapters 4 and 9.


2. A component performance approach for various building elements and mechanical systems and components, Chapters 5 and 9.


3. A prescriptive requirements approach, Chapters 6 and 9.


Compliance with any one of these approaches meets the intent of this Code. This Code is not intended to abridge any safety or health requirements required under any other applicable codes or ordinances.


The provisions of this Code do not consider the efficiency of various energy forms as they are delivered to the building envelope. A determination of delivered energy efficiencies in conjunction with this Code will provide the most efficient use of available energy in new building construction.


101.3 Scope: This Code sets forth minimum requirements for the design of new buildings and structures that provide facilities or shelter for residential occupancies by regulating their exterior envelopes and the selection of their mechanical systems, domestic water systems, electrical distribution and illuminating systems, and equipment for efficient use and conservation of energy.


Buildings shall be designed to comply with the requirements of either Chapter 4, 5, or 6 of this Code and the additional energy efficiency requirements included in Chapter 9 of this Code.


Spaces within the scope of Section R101.2 of the International Residential Code shall comply with Chapters 1 through 10 of this Code. All other spaces, including other Group R Occupancies, shall comply with Chapters 11 through 20 of this Code. Chapter 2 (Definitions), Chapter 7 (Standards), and Chapter 10 (default heat loss coefficients), are applicable to all building types.


101.3.1 Exempt Buildings: Buildings and structures or portions thereof meeting any of the following criteria shall be exempt from the building envelope requirements of Sections 502 and 602, but shall comply with all other requirements for mechanical systems and domestic water systems.


101.3.1.1: Buildings and structures or portions thereof whose peak design rate of energy usage is less than three and four tenths (3.4) Btu/h per square foot or one point zero (1.0) watt per square foot of floor area for space conditioning requirements.


101.3.1.2: Buildings and structures or portions thereof which are neither heated according to the definition of heated space in Chapter 2, nor cooled by a nonrenewable energy source, provided that the nonrenewable energy use for space conditioning complies with requirements of Section 101.3.1.1.


101.3.1.3: Greenhouses isolated from any conditioned space and not intended for occupancy.


101.3.1.4: The provisions of this code do not apply to the construction, alteration, or repair of temporary worker housing except as provided by rule adopted under chapter 70.114A RCW or chapter 37, Laws of 1998 (SB 6168). "Temporary worker housing" means a place, area, or piece of land where sleeping places or housing sites are provided by an employer for his or her employees or by another person, including a temporary worker housing operator, who is providing such accommodations for employees, for temporary, seasonal occupancy, and includes "labor camps" under RCW 70.54.110.


101.3.2 Application to Existing Buildings: Additions, historic buildings, changes of occupancy or use, and alterations or repairs shall comply with the requirements in the subsections below.

EXCEPTION: The building official may approve designs of alterations or repairs which do not fully conform with all of the requirements of this Code where in the opinion of the building official full compliance is physically impossible and/or economically impractical and:
1. The alteration or repair improves the energy efficiency of the building; or
2. The alteration or repair is energy efficient and is necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.
In no case, shall building envelope requirements or mechanical system requirements be less than those requirements in effect at the time of the initial construction of the building.


101.3.2.1 Additions to Existing Buildings: Additions to existing buildings or structures may be made to such buildings or structures without making the entire building or structure comply, provided that the new additions shall conform to the provisions of this Code.


EXCEPTION: New additions which do not fully comply with the requirements of this Code and which have a floor area which is less than seven hundred fifty square feet shall be approved provided that improvements are made to the existing occupancy to compensate for any deficiencies in the new addition. Compliance shall be demonstrated by either systems analysis or component performance calculations. The nonconforming addition and upgraded, existing occupancy shall have an energy budget or Target UA which is less than or equal to the unimproved existing building (minus any elements which are no longer part of the building envelope once the addition is added), with the addition designed to comply with this Code.

101.3.2.2 Historic Buildings: The building official may modify the specific requirements of this Code for historic buildings and require in lieu thereof alternate requirements which will result in a reasonable degree of energy efficiency. This modification may be allowed for those buildings which have been specifically designated as historically significant by the state or local governing body, or listed in The National Register of Historic Places or which have been determined to be eligible for listing.


101.3.2.3 Change of Occupancy or Use:


Any space not within the scope of Section 101.3 which is converted to space that is within the scope of Section 101.3 shall be brought into full compliance with this Code.


101.3.2.4 Alterations and Repairs: All alterations and repairs to buildings or portions thereof originally constructed subject to the requirements of this Code shall conform to the provisions of this Code without exception. For all other existing buildings, initial tenant alterations shall comply with the new construction requirements of this Code. Other alterations and repairs may be made to existing buildings and moved buildings without making the entire building comply with all of the requirements of this Code for new buildings, provided the requirements of Sections 101.3.2.5 through 101.3.2.8 are met.


101.3.2.5 Building Envelope: The result of the alterations or repairs both:


1. Improves the energy efficiency of the building, and


2. Complies with the overall average thermal transmittance values of the elements of the exterior building envelope in Table 5-1 of Chapter 5 or the nominal R-values and glazing requirements of the reference case in Tables 6-1 and 6-2.


EXCEPTIONS: 1. Untested storm windows may be installed over existing glazing for an assumed U-factor of 0.90, however, where glass and sash are being replaced, glazing shall comply with the appropriate reference case in Tables 6-1 and 6-2.
2. Where the structural elements of the altered portions of roof/ceiling, wall or floor are not being replaced, these elements shall be deemed to comply with this Code if all existing framing cavities which are exposed during construction are filled to the full depth with batt insulation or insulation having an equivalent nominal R-value. 2x4 framed walls shall be insulated to a minimum of R-15 and 2x6 framed walls shall be insulated to a minimum of R-21. Roof/ceiling assemblies shall maintain the required space for ventilation. Existing walls and floors without framing cavities need not be insulated. Existing roofs shall be insulated to the requirements of this Code if
a. The roof is uninsulated or insulation is removed to the level of the sheathing, or
b. All insulation in the roof/ceiling was previously installed exterior to the sheathing or nonexistent.

101.3.2.6 Mechanical Systems: Those parts of systems which are altered or replaced shall comply with Section 503 of this Code. When a space-conditioning system is altered by the installation or replacement of space-conditioning equipment (including replacement of the air handler, outdoor condensing unit of a split system air conditioner or heat pump, cooling or heating coil, or the furnace heat exchanger), the duct system that is connected to the new or replacement space-conditioning equipment shall be ((sealed, as confirmed through field verification and diagnostic testing in accordance with procedures for duct sealing of existing duct systems)) tested as specified in RS-33. The test results shall ((confirm at least one of the following performance requirements:


1. The measured total duct leakage shall be less than or equal to 8 percent of the conditioned floor area, measured in CFM @ 25 Pascals; or


2. The measured duct leakage to outside shall be less than 6 percent of the conditioned floor area, measured in CFM @ 25 Pascals; or


3. The measured duct leakage shall be reduced by more than 50 percent relative to the measured leakage prior to the installation or replacement of the space conditioning equipment and a visual inspection including a smoke test shall demonstrate that all accessible leaks have been sealed; or


4. If it is not possible to meet the duct requirements of 1, 2 or 3, all accessible leaks shall be sealed and verified through a visual inspection and through a smoke test by a certified third party
)) be provided to the building official and the homeowner.


EXCEPTIONS: 1. Duct systems that are documented to have been previously sealed as confirmed through field verification and diagnostic testing in accordance with procedures in RS-33.
2. Ducts with less than 40 linear feet in unconditioned spaces.
3. Existing duct systems constructed, insulated or sealed with asbestos.

101.3.2.7 Domestic Water Systems: Those parts of systems which are altered or replaced shall comply with section 504.


101.3.2.8 Lighting: Alterations shall comply with Sections 505 and 1132.3.


101.3.3 Mixed Occupancy: When a building houses more than one occupancy, each portion of the building shall conform to the requirements for the occupancy housed therein. Where approved by the building official, where minor accessory uses do not occupy more than ten percent of the area of any floor of a building, the major use may be considered the building occupancy.


101.4 Amendments by Local Government: Except as provided in RCW 19.27A.020(7), this Code shall be the maximum and minimum energy code for single-family residential in each town, city and county.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.025, 19.27A.045. 10-03-115, 10-13-113 and 10-22-056, 51-11-0101, filed 1/20/10, 6/21/10 and 10/28/10, effective 1/1/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.022, 19.27A.025, 19.27A.045, and chapters 19.27 and 34.05 RCW. 07-01-089, 51-11-0101, filed 12/19/06, effective 7/1/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.020, 19.27A.045. 04-01-106, 51-11-0101, filed 12/17/03, effective 7/1/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.025, 19.27A.045. 01-03-010, 51-11-0101, filed 1/5/01, effective 7/1/01. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27.031 and 19.27.074. 98-24-078, 51-11-0101, filed 12/1/98, effective 7/1/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.025 and 19.27A.045. 98-03-003, 51-11-0101, filed 1/8/98, effective 7/1/98. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.025. 93-21-052, 51-11-0101, filed 10/18/93, effective 4/1/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27A.020 and 1990 c 2. 91-01-112, 51-11-0101, filed 12/19/90, effective 7/1/91.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office