In August 2020, the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission approved the adoption of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). With the inclusion of several amendments specific to New Mexico, the new rule has replaced the previous 2009 IECC as the mandatory statewide building energy code.
The 2018 IECC includes new energy conservation standards for both residential and commercial construction. The 2018 New Mexico Residential Energy Conservation Code and 2018 New Mexico Commercial Energy Conservation Code outline several new mandatory provisions for builders to follow. For homebuyers, these provisions could mean saving big on annual energy costs.
The provisions specific to residential construction apply to all residential contracting work that is conducted in New Mexico on or after September 25, 2020. However, building permits may continue to be issued under the previous 2009 IECC through March 15, 2021.
All projects under the 2018 New Mexico Residential Energy Conservation Code must comply with the following provisions:
- R401.2 Compliance
- R402.2.8 Floors
- R402.4.1 Building thermal envelope
- R402.4.1.2 Testing
- R402.4.1.3 Visual Inspection Option
- R402.4.1.4 Based on census
- R402.4.1.5 State of New Mexico Thermal Bypass Inspection Checklist and Duct Sealing Visual Inspection Checklist
- R403.1.1 Programmable thermostat
- R403.3.3 Duct testing
- R403.4 Mechanical system piping insulation
Before the 2018 IECC was adopted in the fall of 2020, New Mexico followed the 2009 IECC as its mandatory code for commercial and residential projects. In comparison to previous building codes including the 2009 IECC, the new standards are expected to address negative environmental and economic impacts of residential and commercial energy waste, improve energy productivity, and increase business and consumer savings.
Building codes are generally updated by states every three years, however, when the 2012 and 2015 building codes were presented, New Mexico chose not to adopt either. According to a 2016 report by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), had New Mexico moved from the 2009 IECC to the 2015 IECC, homeowners’ net annual energy savings would have increased to $294 within the first year.
Luckily for homebuyers, the provisions included in the new building code are minor in comparison to those included in the 2015 IECC. This means that homebuyers’ chances of receiving similar annual energy cost savings under the new standards are fairly good.
An even greater indication of future savings for homebuyers following the adoption of the 2018 building code is outlined in a 2019 preliminary analysis completed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). While observing already approved code changes in other areas, the DOE found that residential buildings that meet the mandatory provisions in the 2018 IECC incur savings of 1.97% on annual energy costs.
Here at Arista, we design and construct each home with efficiency in mind. We have always worked one step above statewide building standards and will continue to do so with the adoption of the 2018 building code. In addition to the new standards, we aim to:
- Upgrade the HVAC Unit to a more efficient system
- Include tankless water heaters as a standard in all homes
- Upgrade all windows to include Argon gases between glass panes
- Potentially use foam insulation in attic spaces
These additions are likely to save homebuyers on utility costs especially during New Mexico’s summer months. Although newly constructed homes may see an increase in initial cost to meet the 2018 standards, these new homes will provide significant energy savings in comparison.
With the adoption of the 2018 IECC, it’s clear that we have come a long way in improving energy efficiency in our commercial and residential buildings. As we look ahead into 2021, it seems possible for New Mexico to be well on its way toward energy conservation as well as significant cuts in energy consumption costs for local businesses and homebuyers.
Arista Development, LLC is a new construction home builder in Las Cruces, New Mexico?s Metro Verde subdivision. When you are interested in learning more about the Arista standard, book a viewing of our newest model home. Our model home is currently located at 6017 High Planes Las Cruces, NM 88012. Call 575-323-1118 or email us at Crystal@AristaDevelopmentLLC.com