Marion County —
Significant changes with the new Iowa energy code explained in more detail in this brochure:
• New houses are required to be sealed and tested by a third party to 4ACH50.
• Basement walls require insulation (finishing not required).
• 75% of the permanent light fixtures must have high efficiency bulbs such as CFLS.
• Heating system ductwork located outside of the conditioned (heated) part of a house must be tested for tightness. Return ducts in building cavities must be tested as well.
• Air barrier material(s) such as spray in-place foam, sealed in-place sheathing, sealed in-place foam board or sealed poly are required in rim band joists, behind tub/shower enclosures on exterior walls and dropped ceilings adjacent to the thermal envelope.
• Programmable/setback thermostats are required in homes with furnaces.
The statewide energy code also gives house buyers an additional tool to use in making their purchase decision–the “Energy Efficiency Components Label.” This label is required in all new houses and is a way for the builder to certify that the house at least meets the minimum code levels for insulation, window, and heating system efficiencies and other energy features required in a new house. The label also ensures that the information about these features is not lost over time. The label will be permanently affixed to the house’s electrical breaker box, so subsequent owners will have the same information available to them.
Since the Energy Code is a state wide code, cities, towns, and counties with building code jurisdictions are required to enforce the state energy code in their jurisdictions.