Working Group on Building Energy Codes

Status: Ongoing (2019 - 2024)

Operating Agent

Meredydd Evans 
Team Lead and Senior Staff Scientist
Joint Global Change Research Institute
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
5825 University Research Park
Suite 3500 College Park
MD 20854


Michael Donn
Director, Centre for Building
Performance Research
Victoria University Wellington
Wellington 6140

Meli Stylianou
Manager, Housing & Buildings R&D
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa ON K1A 1M1


It is widely recognized that building energy codes (also known as building energy standards) are an effective policy tool for improving the energy efficiency of buildings, residential and commercial alike. However, even in communities and other jurisdictions with extensive history in this area, building energy codes are facing key issues, including:

  • A need for faster and easier methods to check the compliance of buildings with the code
  • A need for greater reliability in the evaluation of code compliance
  • The substantial amount of time it takes for building codes to integrate research and technology breakthroughs, limiting the energy savings potential of building energy codes
  • The long-life of buildings and thus attending to the resulting challenge of incorporating energy efficiency into major retrofits of older buildings and the role of buildings energy codes in this
  • The need to meet ambitious policy objectives including zero net energy construction standards, passive ventilation, etc.
  • The challenge of integrating various distributed energy resources including distributed solar, electric vehicles, and grid-interactive and flexible technologies

In June 2019, the International Energy Agency’s Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme (EBC) approved the creation of a Working Group (WG) dedicated to the consideration of building energy codes to foster stronger collaboration addressed at these issues.


  • To enhance understanding of impactful options and practices regarding building energy codes across different countries.
  • To provide methods for cross-national comparison that lead to meaningful information sharing.
  • To foster collaboration on building energy code issues that leads to enhanced building energy code programs by incorporating new issues and practices.


Confirmed participants in the WG include: Australia, Canada, China, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, as well as ASHRAE and the International Code Council.

Other EBC members are also welcome to join the WG by expressing their intent in writing.

Each participant will provide in-kind contributions to support the cooperation. Participants, at a minimum, will share information on building energy code practices through a survey, webinars, in-person meetings and review of documents. Participating countries will also be invited to take on larger leadership roles on a rotating, optional basis, for example, leading reports, studies, study components or meetings.