UPDATE : The State of Michigan has adopted the 2015 Michigan Residential Code on February 8, 2016. Call us for more information 616-419-8558. Information in this blog post may be outdated. Please visit this PAGE for the most recent updates on the code.
When will the new code hit Michigan?
It was always rumored to be here by spring of 2016. Our sources at the State of Michigan say the plan is to implement it by January 20th, 2016. That is an aggressive date, given that fact that there is not much information on the details of the change. Is that possible? Yes, but I have a feeling there will be some delays.
What code will be adopted?
Originally the likely code being adopted was going to be a version of the 2012 IECC. Our sources have been saying there is a good chance that 2012 will get skipped and we will move directly to a version of the 2015 IECC. We feel this would be good for the builders and the home buyers. It gives them more options. Many builders are currently utilizing the HERS Index Rating as part of their package to their customers. The 2015 IECC allows builders to utilize that rating as a compliance path. It is called the Energy Rating Index (Copyright laws does not allow the code to call it the HERS Index, so they had to make up a new name, but the HERS Index is a way to meet that). This allows the builder to utilize the performance approach to meet the current energy code.
What are the major changes?
This is the hard part. Since Michigan, in the past, has adopted a version of an IECC code (for example we are currently on a version of the 2009 IECC, called the Uniform Michigan Energy Code) it will likely be somewhat different from the current published version. Unfortunately the State is not being very open about what changes they are going to make. It is likely there will be some insulation requirements changed. It is also likely there will be required blower door testing and possible duct leakage testing (if ducts are outside building envelope).
How do I prepare for this change?
As a builder, the sooner you start preparing the better. The builders that are already doing energy ratings (HERS Index Ratings) on their homes are way ahead of the builders that are not. The sooner you start to work with a Building Science consultant the better. Periodically check our site for updates. As soon as we know more we will publish it. Call us we can help!