Friday, March 11, 2016

Denver Joins Several Cities Requiring Electrical Vehical Readiness For New Homes

After an 18-month process, Denver City Council approved Denver's new building code 12-0 on Monday. Under the new code, new buildings are expected to be 25% more energy efficient while loosening the reins on renovations and repairs on the existing building stock hopefully expanding preservation. Denver specific codes now require garages on single family and duplex dwellings to have the proper electrical wiring to support electrical vehicle plugs. This will make it easier and cheaper for more residence  to charge electrical vehicles at home. Homebuilders opposed the electric vehicle readiness requirement voicing concerns about the growing cost of construction, but the new code passed unanimously anyway. The new building code will take full effect in six months. How will these updates directly affect us? Here are a few examples:

This change took place in the 2012 IRC and is carried into the 2015 IRC, but will affect cities that are going from the 2009 IRC
·         R806.2 - Minimum area of roof ventilation: the code changed the required ventilation minimum and maximum of upper roof vents compared to lower roof vents.  The 2009 IRC allowed between 50% and 80% of ventilation to be on the upper roof.  The 2012 & 2015 IRC changed this to a much lower range between 40% and 50% of ventilation to be on the upper roof.
How this affects our work:  This may not directly affect how we design our roofs but will significantly change how we show our upper and lower vents on our roof plans.  Because the IRC went from allowing a minimum of 20% (2009) ventilation in the lower portion of the roofs to a minimum of 50% (2012, 2015), if we don't have enough soffits to put the ventilation (houses with a lot gable roofs), we are forced to show, and builders are forced to install, cut-in vents at the soffits or install a low profile o-hagin vent that is significantly larger than the upper roof vents mathat are being installed, thus affecting the way a house looks.
This change took place in the 2015 IRC 
 R302.13: Fire protection for floors: the code changed so a 1/2" gypsum wallboard membrane, 5/8" wood structural panel membrane or equivalent must be installed to the underside of floor framing member. There is an exception that says that floor assemblies located directly over a space protected by an automatic sprinkler system don't need to conform to this section.
How this affects our work: The only thing that we need to consider is making sure how plan notes state this.  This will affect our builders more in that they will have to absorb the cost to install this material in their unfinished basements or sprinkler the floor.
This change took place in the 2015 IRC
·         R305.1: Minimum ceiling height:  Bathrooms, toilet rooms and laundry rooms shall have a ceiling height of not less than 6 feet 8 inches. (Previous codes, 2009 and 2012 called out a minimum required of 7 feet)
How this affects our work: We now have to show our bathrooms and laundry rooms at 6 feet 8 inches.  If our builders decide to go down to 6 feet 8 inches, it will affect our door sizes as well and make the space feel smaller overall.  This will affect how we design these already tight spaces.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, nice and very impressive invention of electrical car. Thanks a lot for the share.

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