BECS 3rd Virtual Committee Meeting on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.
As a reminder, we invite you to attend the upcoming BECS 3nd Virtual Committee Meeting next  Wednesday, January 13, 2021 beginning at 11:00 a.m. EDT.  There is no registration fee for this meeting.  Please register by clicking here .  If you have any problems with registration or questions, please contact AGA’s Ella Proctor at (202) 824-7207 or
AGA Summits Proposal to Eliminate Prohibition of Below-Grade Gas Piping Penetrations into Buildings in the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC).
AGA submitted the subject proposal to modify Section 404.6 of the IFGC, eliminating the prohibition that has been in the IFGC since the 2015 edition.  Replacing the prohibition are requirements for sleeving and sealing gas line penetrations of natural gas from outside the building foundation wall.  As has been emphasized in the past, other foundation penetrations are not addressed by the current Section 404.6 penetrations, rendering the prohibition of gas line penetrations much less relevant to issues of leaking gas accumulation in buildings.  This perspective is not reflected in the IFGC proposal, which is available here but will be addressed in supporting testimony at the IFGC Code Development Hearing.  However, the proposal also adds, for the first time, consideration of potential safety issues raised by the prohibition of adding runs of exposed gas piping above grade to satisfy the prohibition and potential consequences for damage to exposed piping.  Additional proposals to the IFGC and other I-Codes under ICC’s “Group A” sequence of the Code Development Process are under discussion for submission, due Monday, January 11th.
Updated  Comparison of Energy Use, Operating Costs, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions of Home Appliances.
AGA has updated a “Comparison of Energy Use, Operating Costs, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions of Home Appliances” that provides a comparison of estimated annual operating cost between residential natural gas central furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers and cooking ranges and similar electric appliances. The energy cost used in the analysis are updated based on the residential 2020 Representative Average Unit Costs of Energy issued by the DOE in the August 14, 2020 Federal Register  for natural gas and electricity.   Emissions are based on a full-fuel-cycle analysis that examines “all impacts associated with energy use, including those from the extraction/production, conversion/generation, transmission, distribution, and ultimate energy consumption” . The analysis states that “Site energy analysis only takes into consideration the ultimate consumption stage. Significant energy is consumed, with resulting polluting emissions, during all stages of energy use.”  The analysis clearly shows the cost and environmental benefits of the direct use of natural gas for residential space heating, domestic water heating, cooking and clothes drying when compared with similar electric appliances.  Please review the comparison and feel free to distribute it throughout your organization as you see fit.
AGA Participates in ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force (ETF) Seminar on COVID-19 Response on HVAC Issues in Buildings.
Continuing in its ASHRAE engagement with the ETF, Codes and Standards participated Friday in the subject seminar covering the ETF latest guidance and future actions regarding HVAC systems and response to COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 virus) and potential new airborne viral transmission hazards.  In the updated information, ventilation, air filtration, and air cleaning remain strong elements of an infection risk hazard control strategy, but findings that air distribution can have conflicting consequences:  beneficial mixing of uncontaminated dilution air to reduce overall risk of transmission versus creating airflow pathways that increase person-to-person transmission risk.  This latter distribution risk has been demonstrated in case studies and involves both airborne virus particles and droplets.  Among the core recommendations are previous recommendations for maintaining continuous ventilation and temperature and humidity setpoints as well as new recommends for disabling demand control ventilation (in favor of continuous ventilation), operating “flushing” ventilation of spaces between occupied periods at 3 air changes per hour or greater, deactivating energy efficiency measures that could reintroduce contaminated air (such as use of economizers in some HVAC designs), and tailoring HVAC operation for occupancy rates, activities, and installed equipment.  The updated core recommendations will be posted on the ASHRAE website:
State Codes Activity Update
[This is a weekly feature of the “Friday Update” covering state code calendar activities as presented by the online utility “Fiscal Note,” which is sponsored by APGA and AGA Code and Standards.]
Recent Activity Alerts
On January 1st, 2021, the 2018 edition of the IEC, IMC, IFGC, and IPC became effective in New Castle County.
The State Building Codes Division published a technical bulletin on the Uniform Alternate Construction Standards (UACS) Oregon Revised Statute 455.610. It provides that the Uniform Alternate Construction Standards (UACS) are the alternate construction process appropriate for ORS 455.610. The process allows the local fire official to make a determination regarding the adequacy of firefighting water supply and/or fire apparatus access for a lot of record and enables local building officials to use the construction standards listed within the rule to remedy any determinations of inadequacy through notice of intent to allow use of the UACS. This notice must be given at the time of a land use application approval.
The State Building Codes Division published that they are working on adopting the 2021 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) which would adopt the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) as the base model code.
The Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission will discuss a status update on the Variances Proposed Rule and on the formation of the Code Update Exploratory Committee. They also reviewed Local Ordinance No. 20-40 Fire Prevention Ordinance of the City of Westfield, Indiana.
The Board of Building Regulations and Standards will review the 2021 IBC Chapter 9 for the 10th Edition of 780 CMR (FPFP Task #21-002). They will also discuss conflicts and recommendations on fire protection criteria in the following:
a. 2021 IBC Chapter 4 (FPFP Task #21-002.C4)
b. 2021 IBC fire protection provisions for exterior walls in Chapters 14 & 26 (FPFP Task #21-002.C14&C26).
c. 2021 IEBC fire protection provisions and Chapter 34 Committee review conclusions for conflicts or recommendations (FPFP Task #21-002.IEBC).
Recent and Upcoming Code Body Meetings
Building Official Certification Committee
Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission
Board of Building Regulations and Standards
UCC Review and Advisory Council
Kansas Corporation Commission
State Building Code Council
Building Codes Program
Code Adoption Committee
State Codes Advisory Committee
Building Codes Council
Fire Prevention and Building Code Council
Bills with Recent Activity
Bill #
Bill Title
Primary Sponsor(s)
Last Action
Last  Action Date
Single-Family Housing Modifications
Ray Ward (R)
Bill Numbered but not Distributed
December 30th, 2020
Summary: This bill modifies and defines terms applicable to municipal and county land use development and management; in any local land use zone permitting accessory dwelling units: requires municipalities and counties to classify certain accessory dwelling units 16 as a permitted land use; and prohibits municipalities and counties from establishing restrictions or requirements for the construction or use of certain accessory dwelling units; provides for statewide amendments to the International Residential Code related to accessory dwelling units; requires the executive director of the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund to establish a program to provide loan guarantees for certain loans related to accessory dwelling units; prevents a homeowners association from prohibiting the construction or rental of certain accessory dwelling unit.