State and Local Policy Database

Buildings Summary

Building codes are a foundational policy that ensures energy efficiency is integrated into all new buildings statewide. If energy efficiency is not incorporated at the time of construction, the new building stock represents a “lost opportunity” for energy savings because it is difficult and expensive to install efficient measures and equipment after construction is completed. Mandatory building energy codes are one way to target energy efficiency by requiring a minimum level of energy efficiency for all new residential and commercial buildings in a state. Enforcing compliance with building codes can be difficult and costly, but a concerted effort to fund and train code officials has the potential to generate significant energy savings for a state, helping consumers to save money on their energy bills and thereby making businesses more viable and homes more affordable.

Alabama has mandatory building codes for both residential and commercial buildings, although local jurisdictions may adopt more stringent codes. The state's residential code references to the 2015 IECC, however, state-specific amendments weaken it significantly. The state's commercial code references ASHRAE 90.1-2013. Alabama has completed limited code compliance activities. 

Building energy codes apply to state-financed residential buildings, but not other new construction. Alaska has made several efforts to ensure code compliance, including establishment of a stakeholder advisory group and completion of a gap analysis.

Arizona is a home-rule state, however, the majority of new construction activity occurs in jurisdictions who have adopted the 2012 IECC. Utilities are involved in code compliance support activities, and the state organizes code training and outreach.

Arkansas has mandatory energy codes for both residential and commercial buildings, though municipalities are allowed to adopt codes more stringent than the statewide mandatory code. The 2014 Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction, also known as the 2014 Arkansas Energy Code, is based on the 2009 IECC with amendments. The state has completed several code compliance activities, including a gap analysis and training and outreach.

California first adopted Building Energy Efficiency Standards in 1978, and has regularly updated them approximately every three years since. California’s energy code is considered to be one of the most aggressive and best enforced energy code in the United States, and has been a powerful vehicle for advancing energy-efficiency standards for building equipment. The Standards are required by statute to be performance-based, offering flexibility for builders and designers. The code also stands out because it includes field verification (residential) and acceptance testing (nonresidential) requirements for certain measures that are prone to construction defects or improper commissioning, and reports because high compliance rates overall are reported for requirements for newly constructed buildings. California is working toward the goal of achieving zero net energy in the 2020 Standards for residential buildings and 2030 Standards for nonresidential buildings.  

 

 

Colorado is a home rule state with a voluntary building code for both residential and commercial construction, although there are minimum codes in place for jurisdictions that have adopted a code previously. As of June 2013, 95% of new buildings comply with the 2009 IECC standards or better. In addition, the average HERS Index Rating for single family residential homes in Colorado dropped from 59 to 57 over the last year, showing a 2% energy reduction.

Residential and commercial buildings must currently comply with the 2009 IECC. Connecticut plans to begin enforcing the 2012 IECC in October 2016, however, the draft proposes significant weakening amendments to the residential code. The state has completed a variety of compliance activities, and utilities support code compliance efforts.

Residential and commercial codes follow the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010, however, Delaware is currently reviewing the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 and anticipates adoption by May 2017. The state has completed a gap analysis and baseline compliance study.

Washington, DC requires compliance with the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 for residential and commercial buildings, and requires large new construction to comply with the IgCC. DC has begun reviewing 2015 codes. Code compliance and outreach efforts are led by the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' Green Building Division. 

Effective June 30, 2015, Florida law requires that residential and commercial buildings comply with the 5th Edition (2014) Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation. The 5th Edition (2014) Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation consists of the foundation code 2012 IECC and amendments. The 6th Edition (2017) is on schedule to take effect on December 31, 2017.

Georgia law requires that residential homes comply with the 2009 IECC. Commercial buildings must meet ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards. Georgia has pursued limited compliance activities, including a gap analysis and training and outreach.

Commercial and residential buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC standards, with state-specific amendments.

Effective January 1, 2015, the 2012 IECC became mandatory statewide for residential and commercial new construction, the latter with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Weakening amendments make the residential code equivalent to the 2009 IECC. Several jurisdictions have adopted stricter standards through their local ordinance processes: Blaine county, Idaho Falls, Ammon, Hailey, and Ketchum. The state has implemented several activities to ensure code compliance.

The Illinois Energy Conservation Code supersedes home rule and is the minimum code for all affected buildings in the State of Illinois. Commercial and residential buildings must comply with 2015 IECC standards. The state has implemented several activities to ensure code compliance, including convening a stakeholder advisory group, conducting compliance studies, and offering code trainings.

Residential construction in Indiana must comply with 2009 IRC standards with amendments, and commercial buildings must meet ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards. The state has completed limited activities to ensure code compliance, including training and outreach.

Both residential and commercial construction must comply with 2012 IECC standards, the latter with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. The Iowa Department of Public Safety has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Iowa State Energy Office to adopt and enforce the building codes. Iowa is a hybrid home rule state, meaning there are three statewide codes: the 2012 IECC, 2012 IMC, and 2011 NEC. The 2012 IECC is adopted as a statewide code and does not need adoption by local jurisdictions, however, jurisdictions may adopt codes more stringent than the statewide code. The state has completed many activities to ensure code compliance, including training and outreach and compliance studies. Utilities are involved in code compliance efforts.

Kansas is a home rule state. The Kansas Corporation Commission conducts an annual survey to assess code compliance. The Kansas Corporation Commission’s Energy Division will continue to survey local jurisdictions – cities and counties that, taken together, account for over 90% of the state’s residential construction activity – and publish the findings annually.

Residential construction must comply with the 2009 IECC with state amendments, while commercial construction must comply with the 2012 IECC. The state completed a gap analysis and strategic compliance plan in 2011. 

Residential buildings must meet the 2009 IRC with reference to the 2009 IECC, while commercial and state-owned construction must meet ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The state offers code trainings.

The Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code made the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 mandatory for residential, commercial, and public buildings, but enforcement varies by jurisdiction. The Technical Codes and Standards Board is currently working on the adoption of the 2015 IRC, IEBC, and IECC as well as the 2013 versions of ASHRAE 62.1, 62.2, and 90.1. There is an active stakeholder group and training for code officials.

The 2015 Maryland Building Performance Standards are mandatory statewide and reference the 2015 IECC for residential and commercial buildings. Localities are permitted to adopt stretch codes that are more stringent than the statewide code. To date, Baltimore City has adopted the 2012 IgCC. The state has implemented a variety of measures to ensure code compliance.

The Board of Building Regulations and Standards is in the process of adopting the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE Standards 90.1-2013, which are expected to go into effect in 2016. Massachusetts has implemented a variety of activities to ensure compliance.

Residential buildings are required to comply with the 2015 IECC with state-specific amendments, while commercial buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards. The state is in the process of updating its commercial building energy codes. The state has conducted a gap analysis and offers training and outreach.

Minnesota currently has the 2012 IECC in effect for both residential and commercial codes. The state offers code training and outreach, and has completed a compliance study.

Mississippi is a home rule state, with a voluntary residential code based on ASHRAE 90-1975, Commercial codes were updated in 2013, setting the mandatory energy code standard for commercial and state-owned buildings as ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Jurisdictions can adopt more stringent codes. The state has completed a baseline compliance study, established a stakeholder advisory group, and offers training and outreach.

 

Missouri is a home-rule state. About 50% of the state's population is covered by the 2009 or 2012 IECC or equivalent codes. The state has completed a gap analysis and has established a stakeholder advisory group.

In Montana, a home rule state, the state establishes the set of codes that are to be enforced, including the energy code. Local jurisdictions may choose to enforce the codes of their preference, but they are not mandated to enforce any. If a local jurisdiction chooses to adopt a code, it must be the state code without modification. Localities are permitted to adopt stretch codes as long as incentives are provided to pursue the higher level of code stringency, however, no localities have pursue stretch codes to date. Approximately 40% of new homes are constructed within jurisdictions that enforce the energy code. Residential and commercial buildings must comply with the 2012 IECC, with amendments. The state has completed a baseline compliance study, established a stakeholder advisory group, and offers training and outreach.

Nebraska is a home-rule state. The Nebraska Energy Code (NEC) requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the 2009 IECC. The state has completed a comprehensive set of activities to ensure compliance with building energy codes.

Nevada Revised Statute 701.220 requires the Director of the Governor’s Office of Energy to adopt the most recent version of the IECC. As of July 1, 2015, the 2012 IECC is effective for commercial and residential buildings statewide, however, municipalities then must adopt the code individually. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 is also an acceptable compliance path for commercial buildingss in Nevada. The state has completed a comprehensive set of activities to ensure compliance with building energy codes.

Residential and commercial buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC, the latter with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The state has complete a gap analysis and compliance roadmap, and also has an active stakeholder group dedicated to building energy codes.

Residential buildings must comply with an amended version of the 2015 IECC, while commercial buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The state has not provided information on compliance initiatives.

Residential and commercial buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC. The state has completed a gap analysis and utilities offer training as part of their energy efficiency programming.

Residential buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC and commercial buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2013. New York has completed a variety of activities to ensure code compliance, and includes utilities in code compliance efforts. 

Residential and commercial buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC with strengthening amendments. The state offers code training and outreach.

North Dakota is a home rule state and has no statewide mandatory energy codes. The voluntary energy code is under the purview of the North Dakota State Building Code and the state Building Code Advisory Committee has the authority to make recommendations that could include energy standards future editions of the State Building Code. Chapters 11 and 13 of the 2009 IRC and IBC are contingent upon adoption by local jurisdictions. As of January 1, 2011, in chapter 11 of the IRC jurisdictions have the choice of adopting the IRC requirements or the 2009 IECC requirements. In chapter 13 of the IBC jurisdictions must meet the 2009 IECC requirements. The state is currently using the 2014 North Dakota State Building Code, but the energy code remains unchanged from the 2011 version.

Residential and commercial buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC, however, Ohio is in the process of finalizing an update to its commercial energy code. The state has completed a gap analysis, offers training and outreach, and involves utilities in code compliance activities.

Residential buildings must comply with the 2009 IRC, while commercial buildings must meet 2009 IBC standards. The energy chapter of the commercial code, however, generally follows the 2006 IECC. The state has completed a gap analysis and offers training and outreach.

The state's residential building code is equivalent to the 2012 IECC, while the commercial building code is expected to be within plus or minus 2% of ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The state has completed a variety of activities to ensure compliance, including establishing a stakeholder advisory board. Utilities are involved in code compliance efforts.

Residential buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC or the 2009 IRC, while commercial buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC, with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The state has completed a gap analysis and offers code training and outreach. 

Residential and commercial buildings are required to comply with the 2012 IECC with state-specific weakening amendments. The state is currently reviewing the 2015 IECC. Rhode Island has completed a comprehensive set of activities to ensure code compliance.

Residential and commercial building energy codes reference the 2009 IECC. South Carolina has completed a gap analysis and conducts training and outreach to encourage code compliance.

There is no mandatory statewide energy code, but the 2009 IECC is a voluntary residential standard. Local jurisdictions may opt out of the state's commercial code. South Dakota completed a gap analysis in 2011.

Since Tennessee is a home rule state, codes are adopted and enforced at the jurisdictional level. Residential construction must comply with the 2006 IECC, but the state has initiated the process of adopting the 2009 IECC. Effective August 2016, commercial and state-owned buildings must meet the 2012 IECC. Tennesee has hosted code training sessions.

Effective September 1, 2016, single-family residential construction must comply with the 2015 IRC. All other residential and commercial building construction must comply with the 2015 IECC starting November 1, 2016. State-funded building construction must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013 starting June 1, 2016. The state works with a stakeholder advisory group, has completed a baseline study, and offers training and outreach.

Utah’s Uniform Building Code (UUBC) for residential and commercial building energy codes is mandatory statewide. Residential and commercial construction must comply with the 2015 IECC. The state participated in a compliance pilot study, and works with utilities to provide code training.

Vermont's most recent commercial and residential energy codes went into effect in March 2015 and are based on the 2015 IECC. The state is required by statute to update its codes every three years. The state has a residential stretch code in place that municipalities may choose to adopt, and is in the process of developing similar stretch standards for commercial buildings. Vermont has completed a variety of activities to ensure compliance.

Virginia’s Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) is mandatory statewide for residential and commercial buildings. As of July 14, 2014, the USBC was updated to reference the 2012 IECC and 2012 IRC. Residential buildings must comply with the 2012 IRC, while commercial buildings must meet 2012 IECC standards with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. The state is currently reviewing the 2015 IECC. Virginia has completed a baseline compliance study, established a stakeholder advisory group, and offers code trainings.

The 2015 Washington State Energy Code is a state-developed code that is mandatory statewide. As of July 1, 2016, the 2012 versions of the residential and commercial codes include standards more stringent than the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013. Washington has completed a variety of activities to ensure compliance and involves utilities in its efforts.

In 2013, building codes were updated to require residential buildings to comply with the 2009 IECC and commercial buildings to meet ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standards. These codes are mandatory, but adoption by jurisdictions is voluntary. West Virginia has convened a stakeholder advisory group and offers code training and outreach.

The state-developed residential code is based on the 2009 IECC. The state is reviewing a draft commercial code that references the 2015 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2013. Wisconsin has completed a baseline compliance study and offers code training.

The state's ICBO Uniform Building Code is voluntary for both residential and commercial buildings and is based on the 1989 MEC. Wyoming has convened a stakeholder advisory group and offers code training and outreach.