Planning Today for Tomorrow’s Codes

What does the industry want to see in future codes? This was the question posed by Tom Culp, owner of Birch Point Consulting, during last week’s 2017 GANA Annual Conference, hosted by the Glass Association of North America. The conference was held March 14-17 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The code cycles for the various national energy and green codes have wrapped up or are about to wrap up, which means the industry needs to look ahead. “There’s a unique alignment of the planets, where all the national energy and green codes are nearly in conjunction. It’s a fresh start for all of them,” Culp said.

ASHRAE 90.1-2016 and the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code are now complete, Energy Star version 6 is in full effect, and ASHRAE 189.1 and the 2018 International Green Construction Code will wrap up in the fall.

Work now begins on the next iteration of the codes and standards. “These are the codes that will go into effect in 3 to 8 years. But, we are talking about them now,” Culp said.

Because these codes and standards will have an impact on the glass and glazing industry, companies should consider what they want, and what they don’t want, to see in the next versions of the codes and standards, Culp said.

For example, calls for more stringent U-factor requirements will most likely come up in future code discussions, which could mean more triple insulating units in more areas of the country. “Are we ready for triple glazing in the north? Do we want to push that?” Culp asked.

Also on the table could be lower solar heat gain coefficient requirements in some parts of the country. “Are we ready for .22 or .20 [for SHGC]? Those are the two numbers that have been thrown out in discussions,” Culp said.

With recent product advancements and the emergence of new glazing technologies, the industry is now capable of achieving increasingly stringent energy-efficiency and thermal-performance requirements. The question is, “how far do we want to push the envelope [in terms of codes]?” Culp said.

So, what do you want to see in future codes? Leave a comment or send an email. Culp also encouraged industry representatives to reach out to him or to GANA officials to provide input regarding the next cycles. 

Katy Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at


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