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This is the second of four blogs from the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) entitled “The Residential Energy Code Series.” WDMA has created this series to share the history, development, and future of the residential energy code and how a window, door, and skylight’s performance will be impacted by the energy code.

Discover the world of residential energy codes and stay up to date on the up-and-coming series topics:

  • Part 1-History of the Residential Energy Code
  • Part 2-Energy Code Development Process
  • Part 3-Upcoming 2024 IECC
  • Part 4-State Energy Code Adoption

To learn more about WDMA and for access to additional content, please visit our articles page.


Photo Credit: TruStile

The Residential Energy Code Development Process

The predominate model energy codes in the United States have been developed through an open consensus process since their inception back in the 1970s. This includes ASHRAE 90.1 (energy standard for commercial and high-rise residential), and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) which covers both residential and commercial construction. The IECC is adopted in most or all of 49 states, except California and also adopted in the District of Columbia. Each code/standard development process differs, but they offer basic tenets of due process which include:

  • Openness: All directly interested parties shall be able to participate by way of proposing changes and/or commenting on other proposed changes.
  • Lack of Dominance: No one interest category shall have excessive influence in the process.
  • Balance: Diverse interest categories shall be represented in the decision-making body.
  • Consensus: Development procedures shall have a process by which the decision-making body shall work together to gain increased acceptance of changes.

The International Code Council (ICC), the secretariat for the IECC, oversees the development of an entire suite of model building codes, which are the basis of construction requirements and all are almost universally adopted throughout the United States. The ICC has historically used their “governmental consensus process” to develop all of their building codes, including the energy codes. The ICC Governmental Consensus Process includes balanced committees, public participation, and open hearings but, ultimately, the final decision on changes is determined by building code officials and other qualifying governmental employees.

In 2021, ICC changed the development of the IECC from its governmental consensus process to a committee development process. This new process now provides an opportunity for increased deliberation and a single balanced committee, who are able to work through complex changes to achieve a workable energy code and goals set forth by the ICC Board.

IECC Committee Development Process

Development of what will become the 2024 IECC began with a call for committee members, which took place in the spring of 2021, and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023 with final approval by the consensus committee and the ICC Board of Directors.

Basic steps in the IECC development process:

  • Call for and appointment of committee members
  • Proposal submittals
  • Committee Review/Vote on all proposals
  • Publication of Public Comment Draft #1 standard for public review
  • Submittal of public comments on Public Comment Draft #1
  • Committee Review/Vote on Draft #1 public comments
  • Publication of Public Comment Draft #2 standard for public review
  • Committee Review/Vote on Draft #2 public comments
  • Final Approval by ICC Board
  • Publication of the 2024 IECC


Photo Credit: VT Industries

Participating in the process

The ICC’s open process not only allows but encourages interested parties to participate. While the 2024 edition of the IECC is essentially complete, getting involved in the energy codes and standards development processes is a way to help improve the energy code and ensure that it remains a workable and adaptable code. Since the process to develop a new edition of the code takes around two years, it is expected that the onset of the 2027 IECC development will begin sometime in 2024. Below are some steps that can be taken to become involved in the development of the IECC:

  1. Sign up to stay current

If you or your organization are materially impacted by changes to the energy codes, it is important to stay current and understand when changes can be submitted and what changes are being proposed. Since the IECC is on a continuous maintenance schedule, development of the next edition of the IECC will begin soon. Sign up now as an interested party to be on their distribution list.

  1. Submit proposals to improve the IECC

ICC will announce when they will be accepting proposals sometime in 2024. Anyone can submit proposals to make changes to the IECC. This is an opportunity to propose changes to the code that will improve efficiency and/or make the code more usable.

  1. Submit public comments

When changes are made to the energy code, there can be mistakes or unintended consequences resulting from said changes. This is an opportunity to review the changes and, if necessary, research the impact and provide detailed reasoning and suggested changes to fix any problems identified.

  1. Participate by providing testimony

Committee and subcommittee meetings are online and provide an opportunity for anyone to voice their position to the committees. If you submit proposals or public comments, it is much more effective to testify to the committee to ensure they understand your input and provide you a chance to defend your changes.


Development of the energy code can be extremely tedious and time-consuming. Development of the 2024 Residential IECC has taken place over 39 committee meetings, countless subcommittees, and task group meetings over nearly 2 years. However, this is what an open, balanced consensus process requires in order to develop an energy code that will meet the needs of the states and jurisdictions that will be adopting the code as well as those who need to build to the requirements. It also requires participation from industry experts who can bring to the table their experience and perspective.

Written by Craig Drumheller.

Craig Drumheller is the Vice President of Technical Activities with the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. He has been involved in energy efficiency research and energy code development for over 20 years. Craig has been a member of ASHRAE Standards 90.1, 90.2, and the IECC residential energy code development committee.

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