ICC and RESNET Partner on Standard for Remote Virtual Inspections of Energy and Water Usage in Buildings

The International Code Council, a global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions, and RESNET, a national standards-making body for energy efficiency ratings and certification systems, will continue their long history of collaboration by developing a new American National Standards Institute (ANSI) candidate standard on remote virtual inspections (RVI) for the energy and water use performance of buildings. Previously, the two organizations have worked together to develop a new certification designation, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)/Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Compliance Specialist, and four other ANSI standards. Most recently, they advocated and received recognition of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index within California.

The new standard will provide guidance for implementing RVI for energy code compliance and for energy and water efficiency performance. Performance raters will be provided criteria to check all aspects of permitted construction for compliance with energy codes and other energy-related applicable laws and regulations. As a next step, a new Standard Development Committee will be formed to develop and maintain the standard with the Code Council and RESNET appointing representatives – both separately and jointly.

“Building construction is rapidly evolving and jurisdictions are being challenged to adapt,” says Mark Johnson, executive vice president and director of Business Development, International Code Council. “The need for new inspection methods has been building for a while as the inspector workforce has shrunk and jurisdictions’ resources have come under financial pressure. The pandemic also increased the pressure to evolve, and quickly.”

RVI is a tool to address these problems and organizations such as the Code Council have developed guidance documents to assist code enforcement entities.

“As more code enforcement departments begin their digital transformation and adopt technologies like RVI, there needs to be standardized criteria for how it is implemented,” adds Steve Baden, executive director, RESNET. “A national consensus standard for RVI as it applies to energy- and water-use efficiency inspections and ratings will both provide code enforcement authorities with assurance that the ratings they adopt for code compliance are reliable, as well as advance the efficiency and efficacy potentials of these new approaches to determining code compliance.”

The standard would be co-sponsored by the Code Council and RESNET and developed using RESNET’s ANSI accredited procedures as an American National Standard by ANSI. For more information on RVI, the Code Council released a whitepaper, Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections (RVI), which will be the foundation for the development of the new consensus standard.

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