Texas lawmakers have adopted the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code, developed by the International Code Council.
This new national code requires home builders and home remodelers to meet higher environmental standards, including home and duct leakage tests, improved window performance, better wall and ceiling insulation, more efficient lights, whole house mechanical ventilation and hot water piping insulation. Some of these tests must be done by a third party inspector.
These new regulations, passed in House Bill 1736, went into effect Sept. 1. Home builders who are submitting building permits and plans to the city of Houston must now meet these new environmental standards. The last time Texas adopted new energy codes was six years ago, and these new environmental regulations will stay in effect for at least six years.
Many custom home builders already meet and even exceed these new standards, said John Leggett, CEO of On Point Custom Homes. The Houston-based luxury home builder uses more efficient spray-foam insulation and tankless water heaters in its home construction, he said.