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Changes to State Building Code

paducah fire1PADUCAH, KY (12/14/12) – The Paducah Fire Prevention Division wants the public and contractors to be aware of changes in the code adopted by the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction. These codes are enforced by the City of Paducah. Effective October 1, 2012, the State began using the 2009 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Previously, the State had been using the 2006 version.
 
The main goals of implementing the 2009 version of the code are to reduce energy consumption and make buildings more sustainable. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the most notable changes between the 2006 and 2009 versions are improved duct sealing and efficient lighting requirements. A 2009 analysis of the code differences estimated an average savings in utility costs of $336 per year. If you have plans to construct a home or significantly remodel your home, you and your contractor need to be aware of the code changes.
 
One of the visible changes to a homeowner is that 50% of light fixtures have to be high efficacy. The compact fluorescent bulbs qualify as meeting the regulations; however, the standard incandescent bulbs do not qualify, and their use should be limited. The 2006 IECC does not contain lighting requirements.
 
Programmable thermostats also are required under the 2009 IECC. Deputy Chief of the Fire Prevention Greg Cherry says, “Many homeowners are familiar with the dial thermostats and the digital ones; however, the latest code adoption requires the thermostats to be programmable so that you can set the temperature in the home to increase or decrease while you are away.”
 
Other notable requirements in the 2009 IECC are as follows:
 
• Building envelope must be caulked and sealed;
• Insulation is required behind electrical boxes in exterior walls;
• Spaces between window and door jambs and framing are to be sealed;
• Insulation is required at corners and headers;
• Weather-stripping on attic hatch or door is required with the hatch or door having an equal R-value as the surrounding surface; and
• All ducts must be sealed and insulated to an acceptable level as listed in the code.
 
For more information about the update to the State building code, please contact the Fire Prevention Division at 444-8527.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Pam Spencer

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