Are you eligible for an exemption?
Continuous insulation is one of the baseline measures for compliance with the 2022 California Energy Code that goes into effect as of January 1, 2023. (Projects that apply for permits on or after January 1, 2023 will fall under the 2022 Code.) There are specific requirements for additions and new construction.
An “Addition” is defined as any change to a building that increases conditioned floor area and conditioned volume. Newly “conditioned space” is an enclosed space within a building that is directly or indirectly conditioned. Requirements for continuous insulation in additions vary, depending on the scope of the project.
Continuous insulation is going to be a mainstay in the energy code into the foreseeable future, and for good reason. Spaces with continuous insulation are more comfortable and efficient! Eliminating thermal bridges within the insulation allows for reduced mechanical equipment system sizing and long-term savings to building operations. Those efficiencies help to offset the initial cost of installation.
That said, here’s one exemption to insulation requirements that you may be able to take, if you are building an addition:
- You have an existing building with 2×4 wall construction, and you plan to add a bedroom.
- As soon as you turn a corner or start a wall from the middle of an existing wall, that wall is subject to the prescriptive continuous insulation requirements.
- If you design the addition, instead, directly in line with existing walls, starting from an existing corner, you may be exempt from complying prescriptively with the continuous insulation requirement and continue to use a 2×4 wall assembly.
- If you take this exemption, you can still trade that measure away with other high-performance measures.
To help navigate these requirements, exemptions, or any other energy code question, please reach out to an Energy Code Coach.
Call: (805) 220-9991