The City of Corpus Christie, Texas, has adopted the 2015 International Codes effective September 1, according to a report on KRISTV.com (see: "City to hold workshops on new building codes," by Mike Gillaspia). To help contractors get up to speed, the city is offering a workshop every Wednesday night in August, announced city Building Official and Development Director Gene DeLauro. Below, Development Services Inspector Leo Gonzalez explains a few of the changes to local amendments to the code.

"Affordable development in our area is particularly sensitive to wind storm requirements," Gene DeLauro pointed out in an email to JLC. "Although the design wind loads have increased in the 2015 IRC and IBC, the computation of design pressure has been altered. This effectively allows structures to maintain existing design pressures while meeting the increasing wind load requirements. TDI [the Texas Department of Insurance] currently recognizes the 2006 IRC and IBC with Texas amendments as a requirement to obtain wind storm insurance through TWIA [the Texas Windstorm Insurance Agency]. I expect TDI to update their requirements sometime in the near term."

It's a busy fall for DeLauro and his team, to say nothing of local builders: in addition to windstorm provisions in the code, flood and energy regulations are also in flux. DeLauro explains: "The City is currently working on adopting updated FEMA flood maps and higher flood standards (freeboard, non-conversion agreements, etc.) sometime this fall. The 2015 Energy Code was adopted by the State of Texas and is required to be implemented by municipalities onSeptember 1, 2016 for residential structures and October 1, 2016 for commercial structures. The energy code will require numerous changes to ensure energy saving methods are incorporated into new structures."

The South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency ast a Resource (SPEER) offers a thumbnail summary of the changes to just the energy code in Texas (see: "Major Changes Overview"). Envelope insulation requirements are beefed up, with more attic insulation required throughout the state, and more wall and floor insulation in climate zones 3 and 4. Window U-value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient requirements are also increasing. Building envelope airtightness testing is required, along with duct tightness testing for ducts located outside the conditioned space. In keeping with the new shell airtightness requirement, mechanical ventilation will be mandatory under the new code. And builders will have to file a compliance report as part of the permit application, and then another as-built compliance report in order to receive a certificate of occupancy.

For local readers, here's the schedule of the Corpus Christi's workshops:

  • Wednesday, August 3: 2015 Building Codes, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., Del Mar College Center for Economic Development, 3209 S. Staples Street, Room 106
  • Wednesday, August 10: 2015 Plumbing, Fuel Gas Codes, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., Del Mar College Center for Economic Development, 3209 S. Staples Street, Room 106
  • Wednesday, August 17: 2015 Mechanical Codes, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., Del Mar College Center for Economic Development, 3209 S. Staples Street, Room 106
  • Wednesday, August 24: 2014 Electrical Codes, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., Development Services, 2406 Leopard Street, Third Floor Conference Room
  • Wednesday, August 31: 2015 Energy Codes, 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., Development Services, 2406 Leopard Street, Third Floor Conference Room