The International Code Council, responsible for energy efficiency standards for buildings in the US, issued an update of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
Among other changes, the 2012 code contains more stringent requirements for insulation in new buildings throughout most of the United States in order to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, according to Heimo Scheuch, CEO of brick manufacturer Wienerberger.
The new minimum standard for insulation will be R20, where R-value is the measure of heat flow resistance. As a result, the traditional 2×4-inch framed wall with batt insulation does not meet the 2012 code.
Code compliance can now be achieved in two ways, according to Scheuch. Contractors can use 2×6-inch studs with batt insulation. Conversely, they can add continuous sheet insulation to 2×4-inch stud construction.
Wienerberger’s North American subsidiary, General Shale, based in Johnson City, Tenn., touts its Endurance RS4 Structural Brick, as a solution to the 2012 code requirement, using RS4 bricks with continuous sheet insulation. Attaching continuous sheet insulation to studs creates a “wall” next to exterior brick and minimizes heat loss by providing a weather-resistant barrier.