The 111th Congress met for the first time Jan. 6 followed by the
historic inauguration of President Barack Obama Jan. 20. These
momentous and celebratory occasions long will be remembered as will
the steps these leaders take to quickly address the huge economic
and energy crises facing the U.S. Be it part of a stimulus package
or new energy legislation, those of us in the roofing industry
should be prepared for building codes and federal directives that
encourage more energy-efficient, sustainable buildings that lead to
the creation of not just additional employment but "green" jobs, as
Because every good historian knows the past is prologue,
understanding the recent developments in building energy codes and
energy-efficiency tax incentives that occurred during 2008 will
assist us in understanding how to fully take advantage of the
policies that will be adopted during the months ahead.
For the first time in 19 years, the American Society of Heating,
Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Inc.
increased the minimum required prescriptive R-value for roof and
wall insulation levels in ASHRAE 90.1, "Energy Efficient Design of
New Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," the national
model energy standard for commercial buildings. The above-deck roof
insulation requirement that was R-15 has been raised to
R-20—an increase of 33 percent—in climate zones 2
through 8 in the U.S. Similar increases were approved for walls.
The increased roof and wall insulation values now apply to all
commercial and high-rise residential buildings covered...
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