With the new requirement in the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) stating that builders must install mechanical ventilation in all homes, it is more important than ever that builders understand what ventilation solutions are available, according to Mike Moore, PE, LEED AP, Research Associate, Newport Partners, LLC, Davidsonville, Md.
Moore was a panelist in the “Clearing the Air: Smart Ventilation for Today’s Tighter Homes” seminar presented during the recent 2012 International Builders’ Show (IBS) Green Building & Sustainability track in Orlando, Fla. The seminar addressed the importance of home ventilation and its integral role in green and sustainable building practices, and offered a primer on helping builders navigate through the many new building codes, standards and regulations.
“In the past, mechanical ventilation was optional in homes, but the new 2012 IRC code now requires mechanical ventilation,” said Moore. He explained that several states are already early adopters of the new IRC code – Maryland, District of Columbia and Illinois – and many other jurisdictions have this new requirement under review. “By the summer, we’ll begin to see this new code adopted by many more jurisdictions, and builders will be looking for assistance from manufacturers to help them select the appropriate mechanical solutions,” Moore added.
The panel was moderated by Karen Collins, APR, marketing communications manager, Broan-NuTone, LLC, Hartford, Wis. Other panel members included Brian Wellnitz, marketing manager, kitchen ventilation, Broan-NuTone and Patrick Nielsen, marketing manager, ventilation fans, Broan-NuTone.
In addition to the new 2012 IRC code, the panelists addressed the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), ASHRAE 62.2 and CALGreen, offering tips on how best to communicate the importance of ventilation and energy-efficient building practices to homeowners. The panelists also shared some principles of air movement and how energy-efficient ventilation products, especially those that are Energy Star-qualified, save homeowners money.
Of particular interest to attendees was the discussion on proper ventilation sizing techniques and proper ducting required throughout the home. According to Moore, Broan-NuTone is the first manufacturer to develop an online tool to help builders identify code-compliant, customized whole-house ventilation systems, based on factors such as home size, number of bedrooms, whether or not the home is Energy Star V3 or LEED-certified and even homeowner preference. The Broan-NuTone CodeKey sizing tool will be available online this spring.