“A building is only built once.”
So writes Ellen Vaughan, Policy Director at the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (“EESI”), and Jim Turner, former Chief Counsel at the EESI. The consequences of new construction can last for the entire life of that building and beyond. Just how and with what materials a building is constructed impacts energy, environment, resilience, and safety as well as cost effectiveness, functionality, accessibility, productivity, and overall sustainability. The how of building is an incredibly important part of the life of residential and commercial builds which can only be affected prior to the start of the entire process.
The International Code Council (ICC) originally adopted the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in 2000. The 2021 IECC addresses energy efficiency on several fronts including cost, energy usage, use of natural resources, and the impact of energy usage on the environment. As of June 2019, Illinois has adopted a statewide commercial and residential building code based off the 2018 IECC. This Illinois Energy Conservation Code (Illinois Energy Code) was implemented with the belief that buildings built in compliance with these energy performance standards would see annual energy costs reduced by approximately thirty percent.
After Hurricane Irma’s dissipation on September 15, 2017, the residents of Florida can now begin to assess the damage caused by the strongest hurricane making landfall since Katrina in 2005. According to early estimates, Irma has caused over 62 billion dollars in damage. However, amongst the destruction there is a silver lining; the damage caused was significantly limited by building regulations that went into effect in 2002. Homes and buildings that would have otherwise been destroyed by Hurricane Irma were able to survive, and suffered only minor damage.