The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has formally bestowed the designation of American National Standard upon the 2009 Uniform Solar Energy Code (USEC). Developed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO; http://www.iapmo.org), the USEC is the only model code governing the installation, inspection and maintenance of solar energy systems and their component products to be designated as such.
The USEC joins the 2009 editions of the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC(R)) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC(R)), which each earned the designation in 2003 and 2006, as well.
The realized advantages of a Uniform Solar Energy Code, acceptable in various jurisdictions as a means of promoting public health, safety and welfare, prompted IAPMO in 1975 to develop a basic solar energy document. After months of concerted endeavor, a committee composed of representatives from industry and public utility companies, inspectors, plumbers and engineers successfully completed the first edition of the USEC, which was officially adopted by IAPMO in September 1976.
"The ANS designation is a tribute to IAPMO's progressively remarkable leadership in code development," said Dan McNabb, division manager of building inspections for the City of Austin, Texas. "Even after 33 years, the USEC remains one of the most forward-looking codes available to municipalities across the United States due to IAPMO's determination to allow every voice to contribute to its development."
Key provisions of the 2009 USEC include:
- Comprehensively covers solar thermal and photovoltaic systems
- Allows the installation of single wall heat exchangers
- Requires access to solar collector and its components for maintenance, repair
- Provides protection requirements for freezing temperatures, water hammer, rodents, corrosion, ultraviolet radiation, decay, termites
- Waterproofing requirements
"The Uniform Solar Energy Code will no doubt prove to be an invaluable resource for Homer Glen, Ill.," said Steve Wydeveld, chief building official. "Its provisions remove all of the guess work and ensure that any solar energy system installed within Homer Glen is completely safe and reliable. With more and more individuals and businesses adopting these systems, it's nice to know our standards are clearly defined from the start."