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In this Newsletter:

  • Indoor Air Quality Webinar: November 28th
  • Randy's Roadshow - Where he is going
  • The Need for Vapor Diffusion Systems in Unvented Attics
  • Inflation Reduction Act Codes Update
  • Noteworthy + Previous Webinar Offerings

The SPEER team wants to wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you are able to take some time to relax, enjoy family, watch football, and eat too much! We're looking forward to an even more successful 2024!

Webinar: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Basics & Mechanical Ventilation

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) directly impacts our health and comfort. However, modern building practices, while excellent for energy efficiency, often results in limited natural airflow. This can lead to the accumulation of pollutants indoors, which mechanical ventilation systems effectively mitigate. Join us for this presentation and let’s look at what makes up bad indoor air quality and how, if designed correctly, the mechanical ventilation system can lower the potential for a sick home.

When: November 28th @ 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Register Now

Where I'm Heading - Come Say Hello!

  • Valley Building Official Conference in South Padre: Dec 8th - 9th
  • Annual REEO Conference: Dec 13th – 15th

The Need for Vapor Diffusion Systems in Unvented Attics

The use of a vapor diffusion system in unvented attics of residential homes is a significant advancement in building science, offering multiple benefits in terms of energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and structural longevity. This article delves into the importance of such systems, highlighting their key advantages.

Enhanced Moisture Control

One of the primary reasons for incorporating a vapor diffusion system in an unvented attic is to manage moisture effectively. Moisture can accumulate in attics due to various activities within the home, such as cooking, showering, and even breathing. Without proper ventilation, this moisture can condense on the underside of the roof, leading to mold growth, wood rot, and compromised insulation effectiveness. A vapor diffusion system allows moisture to escape while preventing external moisture from entering, maintaining a dry and healthy attic space.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Unvented attics with vapor diffusion systems contribute significantly to energy efficiency. Traditional attic ventilation can lead to temperature fluctuations, demanding more from heating and cooling systems. By sealing the attic and using a vapor diffusion system, the attic space is better insulated, reducing the workload on HVAC systems. This not only lowers energy bills but also reduces the carbon footprint of the home.

Enhanced Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality is greatly improved with a vapor diffusion system in unvented attics. By preventing the infiltration of external pollutants and allergens, these systems ensure that the air inside the home remains cleaner. Additionally, the reduction in moisture levels lessens the likelihood of mold growth, which is crucial for residents with allergies or respiratory issues.

Structural Integrity

The integrity of the home’s structure is also preserved with the use of a vapor diffusion system in unvented attics. By keeping the attic dry, the risk of structural damage caused by moisture, such as rotting wood and rusting fasteners, is significantly reduced. This prolongs the life of the roof and the overall structure, potentially saving homeowners from costly repairs.

The installation of a vapor diffusion system in unvented attics is a smart investment for residential homes. It enhances the home’s energy efficiency, improves indoor air quality, protects the structural integrity, and can offer increased fire safety. As building codes and practices evolve, the adoption of such systems is likely to become more widespread, reflecting a commitment to healthier, more sustainable living environments.

Inflation Reduction Act Code Update

Last week the U.S. Department of Energy issued a modification (Mod 0002) to the Administrative and Legal Requirements Document (ALRD) for formula funding for States and Territories to support adoption funding and implementation of the latest model and zero building energy codes. This modification:

  • Extends the Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline from November 21, 2023 to January 31, 2024 (optional template available here)
  • Clarifies eligibility for implementation and compliance funding for States that had adopted codes that DOE determined to be equivalent or greater than the statutory latest model codes before the ALRD was released (September 19, 2023)


Thank you to everyone who joined us for our in-person SPEER Energy Code Ambassador and Texas Energy Code Compliance Collaborative meeting earlier this month! Not only did we have a full day of engaging conversations but we also had a full house; one of the best attended TECCC meetings we have had to date. We invite you to learn more about our Ambassador program and consider applying!

Watch a recap of our recent webinars:

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay informed on energy optimization, efficient building techniques + energy codes, local govt climate action, and more. We have over 150 previous recorded webinar offerings.

The DOE Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) is offering a regular webinar series, BECP Energy Code Webinar Series, with an event held the third Thursday of every month at 1 pm (Eastern), beginning September 21, 2023. The next one is January 18th, 2024 on Best Practices for Understanding and Improving Compliance: Field Studies, Circuit Riders, and More. Save your spot and register now!

What we're reading: Key Proposals Under Consideration for Changes to the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code

The 2024 IECC will be more stringent than the 2021 IECC in terms of overall energy performance. Significant proposals under consideration include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Requiring whole-home electrification or ensuring the home is electrification-ready

• Requiring on-site solar panels

• Requiring homes to be solar-ready, energy-storage-ready, and have electric vehicle charging capability or readiness

• Requiring grid-interactive equipment for demand response

• Increasing the stringency of insulation, windows, and building and duct tightness

• Requiring energy-recovery ventilators (ERVs)

• Eliminating the batt insulation option at rim joists

• Requiring third-party inspections for energy code compliance (instead of inspection by building inspectors)

• Requiring ASHRAE 62.2 ventilation rates (much higher rates)

• Requiring increased building tightness and further reducing overall flexibility (for example, removing air tightness trade-offs)

• Imposing a penalty on houses larger than 5,000 square feet

• Realigning energy efficiency measures to prioritize more cost-effective strategies

Many of these provisions, if approved into the 2024 code, could significantly affect home design and construction costs and limit a builder's flexibility to optimize building performance.

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