Energy Codes & Standards

Ecotope has been involved in code development, evaluation, implementation, code compliance review, and the overall energy code debate in the Northwest since the first Seattle Energy Code in 1979.  Ecotope’s original work with the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (Council) resulted in the first model conservation standards which later became the Washington and Oregon energy codes.  Ecotope developed and executed the first comprehensive code compliance review in those states and authored three more code compliance reviews (both residential and commercial) in the 1990s.

In the recent past Ecotope has provided the Washington State Building Code Council with performance estimates of code impacts as part of the development of new codes. The modern codes have advanced to include the entire region, especially with the advent of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  For the first time the national code process has developed consensus codes that are comparable with the Washington and Oregon energy codes.  In addition, the Seattle Energy Code is leading the way toward performance based codes where the code standard is set by the overall energy use.  This effort is embryonic but the evolution of more advanced codes that place a significant premium on overall energy performance is a positive development.

With these new codes, engineers are being asked to take an increasingly active role in designing energy efficient systems. The major breakthroughs in commercial building performance will likely shift from efficient equipment to more efficient design.  The role of utilities in encouraging this trend with incentives and benchmarking offers opportunities for cost effective new designs and greatly reduced building energy requirements. Ecotope design engineers consistently design net-zero ready commercial buildings and are supporting the development of performance-based codes.

Code development
Code impact assessment
Energy code compliance assistance
Compliance assessment
National Standards Development (ASHRAE)