1. ATTENTION returning members. If you are coming here from the old forum for the first time, you will need to reset you password. However, we had an email problem getting password reset links set out to a lot of the email addresses. That problem is temporarily rectified but IF you still have an issue, email me direct at info@thebuildingcodeforum.com and I will give you a temporary password.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by clicking here: Upgrades
    Dismiss Notice

Cutting codes to cut costs of construction

Discussion in 'Residential Energy Codes' started by Coder, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    25
    I have mentioned to several contractors that I am going to try and get rid of the blower door test requirement someday. Guess who is the only local group "not" in favor of this?
     
  2. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    142
    Does CA use the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code or do they have their own code??
     
  3. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2014
    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    208

    The less than 1% that sprinklers save vs. smoke detectors won't even hold up statistically - it's within the margin of error that that part of 1% even exists.

    The energy code(s) have not saved a single life since they've been in existence. Not a single one. Prove your work, or that's just a made up talking point. I'll give you that some people die every year when it is very hot or very cold - but any energy code anyone has ever adopted wouldn't have saved even one of those lives.

    An 8 foot bathroom could easily add 10K to a bid over that 5 footer when you add architect fees, plan review fees, more architect fees, the cost of re-arranging the other areas in the space, etc. etc. It's not as cut-and-dried as contractors being dirtbags.
     
  4. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    25
    This thread is getting good!
     
    fatboy likes this.
  5. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,561
    Likes Received:
    457
    Look what you started...... ;)
     
  6. TheCommish

    TheCommish Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    80
    I do not think it is the codes that drive up the costs of the home; it is keeping up with the Jones and what the market will bear.

    The is no need for a 3000 sf cut up home with marble tops and top of the line fixtures and finishes. Build a rectangular building with durable materials 8-foot ceilings. I my opinion most cost-effective 2 story 26x32 cape style home for the northeast and cold climates, 26x48 foot ranch for sab on grade where frost deep is not deep and a raised ranch for the middle latitudes.
     
    tmurray and fatboy like this.
  7. Rick18071

    Rick18071 Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    142
     
  8. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    347
    The issue with energy efficiency being a "life safety" code is that it is not the clear cause and effect relationship that we are used of. When someone is required to install a smoke alarm, it could save their life. When people are required to build more energy efficient buildings, coupled with more fuel efficient cars, reduction in industry emissions, we start to see less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This in turn prevents deaths from related illnesses; lung cancer, heart attacks or respiratory diseases. Fundamentally, this is no different than radon gas, VOCs, or other long term health hazards.
     
    jeffc likes this.
  9. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    25
    Just playing the devils advocate here. Dow Chemicals: Lets increase the R-values of residential construction so much that they have no choice but to use our spray foam and rigid foam plastics (plastic=petroleum=$$$) So that we can keep churning out more more more plastic and continue destroying the planet in the name of energy efficiency. Makes sense to me.
     
  10. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,860
    Likes Received:
    609
    yes, with CA amendments
     
  11. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,860
    Likes Received:
    609
    Cannot prove that, nor can they prove Seat belts save lives. Some that use them live, some die; some that don't use them live, some die. But fatalities appear less....
    Cannot prove that drinking and driving will end in an accident. Some do, some don't. But fatalities appear less....

    It's all a best guess.
    I have never heard of a death in a sprinklered SFD house.
     
    #191 mark handler, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  12. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    347
    Absolutely. But on the other side, the utility companies are making more money. Either way you make that argument someone is making money. The only difference is in adding more insulation Dow makes less than the utility companies would over time, meaning the building owner has saved money.
     
  13. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,995
    Likes Received:
    680
    Utility company rates are usually heavily regulated but it would only require one rate increase to offset the time the building owner saved money. If a non-government company does not make money they will not survive. That includes private, "nonprofit" and co-op structured companies.
     
  14. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    347
    I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that when utility rates go up that adding insulation becomes less profitable?
     
  15. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,860
    Likes Received:
    609
    It should not be a "cut Codes" debate it should be an "alter the codes to make sense.

    As an example:
    The Diminishing Returns of Adding More Insulation
    https://www.energyvanguard.com/blog/76941/The-Diminishing-Returns-of-Adding-More-Insulation
    Adding any insulation to uninsulated homes can save more energy than adding more insulation to already-insulated homes.
    Too much is never enough
    The debate over how much insulation to use is an important one. There's no clear-cut answer. I can't tell you, "Use this much in climate zone 4 and this much in climate zone 5" because there are multiple variables involved. Here are the main ones:
    Climate zone
    Type of heating and cooling system
    Fuel used for heating
    Utility costs
    Photovoltaic (solar electric) system costs
    Comfort
    Your interests and goals - utility bills, carbon footprint...

    Whether you're trying to reduce power plant emissions or just save money, at a certain point, it becomes wiser to stop with the insulation and spend your money on the stuff that, dollar for dollar, will yield better results.
     
    my250r11 and Paul Sweet like this.
  16. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    6,995
    Likes Received:
    680
    No I am referring to the cost versus payback period over time. With fluctuating energy prices it is hard to determine if that payback period is 5 years or 50 years.


    Look at wind turbines for SFR

    Using Windustry.org’s estimate of $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt, we’ll assume an average of $4,000 per kilowatt for the cost of a small wind turbine.

    A 5 kW small wind turbine would cost about $20,000 (5 kW x $4,000). With electricity costs of $1,340 per year, it would pay for itself in 14.9 years.

    A 10 kW turbine would cost about $40,000. With electricity costs of $1,340 per year, it would pay for itself in 29.9 years.

    A 15 kW turbine would cost about $60,000. With electricity costs of $1,340 per year, it would pay for itself in 44.8 years.

    It’s important to note that small wind turbines have a lifetime of about 20 years, which means that some of these payback periods are longer than the product’s actual lifetime. That means that the wind turbine would have to be replaced before it paid for itself in energy generation.
     
    my250r11 likes this.
  17. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,657
    Likes Received:
    288
    coder,

    Does your city require only copper water service lines to the house? Some communities only allow copper. There is a savings in allowing PEX type water service lines. Have you thought about TWO water meters in one pit to single family houses? Both are small reductions in cost to a developer or home builde

    Man, I'm running out of ideas to cut cost.
     
  18. Coder

    Coder Silver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    25
    Copper only so that if they have to throw heat at it to thaw they dont melt. Like someone else on here said, cutting costs of construction doesn't make housing more affordable, it just puts more money in the contractors pocket.
     
  19. tmurray

    tmurray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,454
    Likes Received:
    347
    I'm sorry, I didn't realize your code required on-site generation of energy.
     
  20. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    9,860
    Likes Received:
    609
    The typical solar payback period in the U.S. is between 6 and 8 years. If cost of installing solar is $20,000 and system is going to save $2,500 a year on foregone energy bills, solar panel payback or “break-even point” will be 8 years ($20,000/$2,500 = 8).Oct 26, 2018
     

Share This Page