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RESNET and ICC re: ANSI Candidate Standard on Remote Virtual Inspections

Jul 15, 2021
Building construction is rapidly evolving and building code jurisdictions are being challenged to adapt. While the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for new methods to inspect construction other than by onsite inspections, the need has been building for a while as the inspector workforce has shrunk and code jurisdictions resources have come under financial pressure.  This problem is being compounded with the current boom in new construction.

Remote Virtual Inspection (RVI) is a tool to address these problems and organizations such as the International Code Council (ICC) and RESNET QA staff have developed guidance documents to assist code enforcement entities. Many building code jurisdictions have also evolved to recognize alternative means of determining compliance such as accepting energy ratings conducted in accordance with standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 301.

To combine and advance the efficiency and efficacy potentials of these two new approaches to determining code compliance, there needs to be standardized criteria for how RVI is implemented. A national consensus standard for RVI as it applies to energy- and water-use efficiency inspections and ratings will provide the code-enforcement authorities with assurance that the ratings they accept for code compliance are reliable.

ICC and RESNET will collaborate to develop a new ANSI standard on remote virtual inspections for energy and water use performance of buildings. The standard would be co-sponsored by the ICC and RESNET and developed using RESNET’s ANSI accredited procedures as an American National Standard by ANSI. The ICC’s document, “Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections (RVI)”, will be the starting point for development of the consensus standard.

The new standard will provide guidance for implementing RVI for energy code compliance and for energy and water efficiency performance. It will 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.

The collaboration for development of the standard will be modeled similarly to the RESNET/ICC project that developed standard ANSI/RESNET/ICC 850-2020 Standard for the Calculation and Labeling of the 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).

The next step of the process will be the appointment of a consensus Standard Development Committee composed of RESNET and ICC representatives.