The topic will cover the following: "Like" Materials for Existing Systems and Buildings. Most of the permits pulled by HVAC contractors are for "alterations" such as equipment, duct or piping replacements in existing buildings. The Florida Building Code allows "Like Materials" to be used for these. The requirements for things such as R values of ducts and piping insulation were set in place the year the building was built and are not required to be upgraded in most cases. HVAC contractors have the choice to comply using "Prescriptive" compliance method or by the "Work Area" method. The work area method may require compliance with the current energy code; the prescriptive method does not. The permit applicant makes this decision ( not the building department ). It is impossible for code officials to correctly interpret the code if they don't know which method you have selected. But since they are not asking you what method of compliance you prefer it is impossible for them to determine just what is required. Compliance with the current Florida Energy Code is not required in most cases. Your code officials need to understand how this works but most do not and only use the current code for everything. Make sure you understand how this works and can explain it to your code officials. We will specifically look at duct replacement and piping insulation protection to better understand how this works.
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