Most building departments in the cities of Larimer County and the county itself have recently adopted IECC 2015 energy codes, specifically Berthoud, Loveland, and Fort Collins. The city of Berthoud, which has been a hot spot for single-family home building, recently put out a statement saying that all new permits must comply with 2015 IECC codes and the newer “Dark Sky Ordinance.”
So what does this mean for builders?
One big change for a city like Berthoud (which was previously on IECC 2009) is that now, new construction houses will have to comply with the air leakage testing requirements of the newer energy code. This includes Berthoud blower door testing and duct leakage testing in some cases.
On January 11th 2019, Berthoud’s Community Development Director, Curt Freese, sent out a notice stating they would be moving to IECC 2015 on all new permits submitted after February 1st. This means that not only will you need a blower door test before you can obtain your Certificate of Occupancy, but you may also need to submit a HERS rating if you choose not to take the prescription method. These requirements and more are outlined in the Town of Berthoud submittal requirements.
You can read more about the IECC 2015 blower door test requirements of Larimer county in our blog post here.
This is not a big surprise considering most Colorado cities were already requiring these tests. Most notably is the City of Denver which starting requiring air leakage tests last year and even made an addendum to accommodate remodel permits.
The city of Fort Collins has also required the post-construction testing for some time in an even more stringent capacity, but the new updates encompass the county around the city as well. You can see Larimer county’s energy requirements under chapter 11 here.
So are you ready for the change?
At Scott Home Inspection, we have been keeping an eye on this change and offering our services in any county in Colorado that requires it. However, when we move into a new area, many builders that have not had this test performed in the past struggle to pass.
The 3 ACH (Air changes per hour) maximum leakage rate requirement in the code is not the easiest score to achieve. Sealing a home well requires significant pre-planning in the building process.
Whether that be having your insulator seal your framing plates, adding more air sealant insulation like closed cell foam, or adding closed combustion appliances to the home, these decisions need to be made early in the process.
Scott Home Inspection and its Energy Services Group are always here as a resource on both the front end and the back end of a project. Our blower door technicians carry infrared cameras and are trained to help find air leaks in a house if the test does not pass on the first shot.
Need a blower door test now? Learn more and schedule with us here.
We have also created a guide to common air leaks that we see frequently during these tests.
So whether you are looking to get your permit, or need blower door testing requirements in Larimer County, then reach out to us and we can provide you with high-quality service and support.