The International Code Council (ICC) and RESNET have teamed up to develop a new ANSI Standard on remote virtual inspections (RVI) for buildings' energy and water use performance. The standard will be developed using RESNET's ANSI-accredited procedures and will be based on the ICC's "Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections."
A Growing Need
As we reported last Spring, the COVID-19 pandemic saw jurisdictions across the country implement virtual inspections as a way to protect the public health of trades and ensure social distancing. However, even before the pandemic, many jurisdictions saw their building code inspector workforce decline dramatically as inspectors retired. This situation has been a growing problem for many years. In a blog post five years ago, we noted that 80 percent of building code officials were expected to retire within 15 years. Additionally, keeping up with the current home construction pace makes in-person inspection a challenge. As a result, many building code jurisdictions have evolved to recognize alternative means of determining compliance, such as accepting energy ratings conducted in accordance with standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301.
Adapting to the changing workforce and the pace of construction, RVI's have become commonplace in many jurisdictions.
The new standard will provide guidance for implementing RVIs for energy code compliance and water efficiency performance. It will also provide criteria for virtual code inspections conducted by performance raters for checking all aspects of permitted construction for compliance with energy codes and other energy-related applicable laws and regulations, RESNET said.
The collaboration will be modeled like the RESNET/ICC project that developed standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 850-2020 Standard for the Calculation and Labeling of Water Use Performance of One- and Two-Family Dwellings Using the Water Rating Index. A new Standard Development Committee will be formed to develop and maintain the standard, with the ICC and RESNET appointing members both separately and jointly.
The proposed standard development has been posted on ANSI's Project Initiation Notification System (PINS). Appointing a consensus Standard Development Committee composed of RESNET and ICC representatives is the next step in the process.
Why it Matters
Having clearly defined criteria for the completion of remote virtual inspections will create uniformity in completing them. Authorities Having Jurisdiction will benefit from having consistent guidance in how to conduct such inspections, and the development of a standard is imperative to that goal.