Energy Code Changes That Can Impact Roof Replacement Costs

By Larry Young, Vice President/PME, Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii, Inc.
& Richelle Thomason, Director of Business Development & Client Relations, Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii, Inc.

At this year’s Hawaii Buildings, Facilities & Property Management Expo, CRW invited Howard Wiig, Energy Analyst from the Hawaii State Energy Office as one of the guest panelists to discuss the Hawaii Energy Code (HEC) and the impact it would have on roofing in Hawaii. According to Howard, he is optimistic that the following “Draft Amendments” will be adopted and enforced this year for both residential and commercial properties.

IECC code amendment_ Residential

IECC code amendment_Commercial

The state distinguishes “residential buildings” as 1-3 stories and “commercial buildings” as 4 stories and above.

While the counties of Hawaii, Maui and Honolulu are still operating under the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), Kauai is operating under the 2009 IECC. Once the HEC is adopted, all counties will conform concurrently.

We recently negotiated a contract to reroof an 84 unit (6 buildings) townhome project on Kauai, which resulted in added costs totaling approximately $85,000 to comply with the 2009 IECC. They were required to insulate each unit’s attic space and while there are a few insulation options available, they chose the most economical insulation method. Because Hawaii, Maui and Honolulu are still operating under the 2006 IECC, properties are not required to comply with the 2009 IECC.

attic space with no insulation

Example: Attic space with no insulation


radiant barrier

Example: Attic space with radiant barrier

The good news is…with the islands seeming more muggy and humid these past years and everyone doing their part to pursue a sustainable future, HOA’s have already been performing 2 out of the 3 reroofing option as outlined above in the Draft Amendments.

 In the case where an overlay is possible, the energy code would not apply if the sheathing is not exposed per the code amendment. However, it is not clear whether community associations who have restricted architectural guidelines would be excluded from the energy code.

For commercial buildings (classified as 4 stories and above) the insulation R-value requirement will be changing from R-15 to R-38, potentially increasing the overall project cost by 30-50%.



At this point, we recommend HOA’s re-evaluate their reserve study and make necessary adjustments to their roof reserve in compliance with the energy code. Associations who need to re-roof this year, or shortly thereafter but do not have adequate reserves to comply with new roofing code requirements have other options, such as a bank loan or special assessment. However those are not the only options available.

Associations can have their roof thoroughly inspected and determine what it will take or cost to extend the life of your existing roof until your reserve fund is adequately funded.

Comprehensive roof management programs provide the client with a thorough roof inspection for recommended action items needed for immediate, remedial and long-term maintenance. Customized maintenance plans should support access to archived historical data available for tracking purposes and ultimately decision making for repairs or re-roofing.



…And we don’t mean just have someone go up there and just coat some black goop here and there…black mastic

Larry Young is the Vice President/PME at CRW and Richelle Thomason is the Director of Business Development and Client Relations at CRW. Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing is a full-service roofing and waterproofing contractor with 75 employees and operations in Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines. They cover the full spectrum of roofing and waterproofing, having installed nearly every kind of system from the purely functional to assemblies that are highly visible and aesthetically pleasing. CRW is highly involved with ‘Sustainability Initiatives,’ and through their partnerships with a strategic alliance of a family of companies, provides a multitude of technologically advanced clean energy systems and efficient products to reduce carbon footprints, including solar reflective specialty coatings, and a new generation of technologically advanced PV energy systems.  


The IECC booklet is a very useful tool as it covers the entire building envelope. For more information on the 2015 IECC or to order a copy visit:

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