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. The AERC Board is preparing to begin consideration of the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016.

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 or 2015 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. 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 components and 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 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, but under state statute (House Bill 19-1260), local jurisdictions are required to adopt one of the three most recent versions of the International Energy Conservation Code at a minimum, upon updating any other building code. As of May 2020, 75% of Colorado's population is on the 2012, 2015 or 2018 IECC.

  • The 2015 IECC is the adopted code for all modular homes.
  • The construction of health care and K-12 school facilities is regulated by the State of Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control which has adopted the 2015 IECC for these facility types. 
  • The 2018 IECC is the minimum building energy code for the construction of state-owned facilities.
  • Factory-built nonresidential structures and hotels, motels, and multi-family dwellings in areas of the State where no building codes exist, must meet the 2015 IECC.

Several local jurisdictions have strengthened their building energy codes by requiring electric vehicle readiness and net zero energy construction, among other green construction requirements.

Last reviewed: May 2020

Residential and commercial buildings must currently comply with the 2015 IECC, however, the state is reviewing the 2018 IECC as part of the adoption of the 2020 State Building 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, in 2018 Delaware began reviewing the 2015 and 2018 IECC as well as ASHRAE 90.1-2016 ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The state has completed a gap analysis and baseline compliance study.

Delaware Code also requires the state to establish programs to promote the construction of zero net energy homes and commercial buildings by December 31, 2025 and December 31, 2030 respectively.  It is within this context that stretch codes may be considered in the future.

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 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). DC has completed a new 2017 code that is based on the 2015 IECC and includes an optional net-zero energy code path. Code compliance and outreach efforts are led by the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' Green Building Division. 

Effective December 31, 2017, Florida law requires that residential and commercial buildings comply with the 6th Edition (2017) Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation. The 6th Edition (2017) Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation consists of the foundation code 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and amendments. (See https://codes.iccsafe.org/public/collections/FL). The Florida Building Commission certified in letters to the U.S. Department of Energy that the new code meets or exceeds 2015 IECC standards. Compliance with the code is mandatory for all new construction including alteration to existing buildings.

The 2020 Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code Georgia 2020, based on the 2015 IECC with state specific amendments, went into effect January 1, 2020. Southface Institute, in partnership with Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), has developed comprehensive trainings and resources to help building professionals comply with the latest codes.

The State of Hawaii has adopted the 2015 IECC by Administrative Rule for commercial and residential buildings with state-specific amendments, however these have yet to be formally adopted at the county level.

The State of Idaho adopted the 2018 IRC and IECC residential provisions as well as the 2018 IECC commercial provisions, both with amendments, during the 2020 legislative session. Both codes will take effect on January 1, 2021. This code adoption will replace Idaho’s current building code standards and bring all jurisdictions with building codes up to the 2018 IECC standard. Idaho statute prohibits local jurisdictions from adopting more stringent building codes than what is adopted by the state.

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 2018 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 the 2018 IECC 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.

In Iowa, the commercial Energy Code is the 2012 IECC with ASHRAE 90.1 2010 allowed by reference. The residential Energy Code is the IECC 2012 with Iowa specific amendments. Iowa is a hybrid home rule state, meaning there are four statewide codes, the IECC 2012, IMC 2015, IFC 2015 and the NEC 2017. The IECC 2012 is adopted as a statewide code and does not need adoption by the local jurisdictions as it is a state code/law. Jurisdictions are permitted to adopt codes more stringent than the state code. There are jurisdictions that have adopted the IECC 2015. 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. The state is also undergoing a code improvement/compliance study in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and Pacific Northwest National Labs.

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 state has adopted the 2015 versions of the IRC, IBC, and IEBC effective January 2018. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) remains the 2009 version. ASHRAE standards (ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality, air quality in low rise residential buildings, and Energy Standard for Buildings except low rise residential buildings) have been updated to the 2013 version. Municipalities with less than 4,000 residents are not required to enforce the state codes, but if they adopt a code, it must be consistent with the state adopted code. Efforts are ongoing to adopt the 2015 IECC. 

Last reviewed: August 2020

The 2018 Maryland Building Performance Standards (MBPS) are mandatory statewide and reference the 2018 IECC for residential and commercial buildings. Localities are permitted to adopt stretch codes that are more stringent than the statewide code. The state has implemented a variety of measures to ensure code compliance.

The Board of Building Regulations and Standards adopted the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE Standards 90.1-2016, with strengthening amendments. The state stretch energy code remains as a requirement to exceed the baseline state code by approximately 10% for new large commercial construction, or to require a HERS rating of 55 or less or a Passive house certification for new low-rise residential construction. Adoption of the Massachusetts stretch energy code has continued to grow, it is now adopted in 252 towns and cities accounting for 79 percent of the state population. Massachusetts has implemented a variety of activities to ensure robust energy code training and compliance.

Last reviewed: July 2019 

Residential buildings are required to comply with an amended version of the 2015 IECC. Commercial buildings must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2013 standards. The state has conducted a gap analysis and offers training and outreach.

Minnesota currently has the 2012 IECC in effect for residential construction; as of March 2020, the 2018 IECC is in place for commercial construction. The state offers code training and outreach, and has completed a compliance study.

Last reviewed: August 2020

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, 2012, or 2015 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. Certified jurisdictions, which currently account for 34% of new construction, are required to adopt the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 codes. 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.  

Nebraska is a home-rule state. Effective July 1, 2020, the Nebraska Energy Code (NEC) requires residential and commercial buildings to comply with the 2018 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, 2018, the 2018 IECC is effective for commercial and residential buildings statewide, however, municipalities then must adopt the code individually. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 is also an acceptable compliance path for commercial buildings in Nevada. The state has completed a comprehensive set of activities to ensure compliance with building energy codes.

Effective September 2019, residential and commercial buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC, the latter with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2013. The NH Building Code Review Board (BCRB) provides independent analysis and recommendations to the legislature on the modification of the state building codes and state fire codes to promote uniformity with all applicable laws, rules and regulations as well as the public safety and best practices for the people of New Hampshire. The NH Building Code Review Board is currently reviewing the 2018 ICC chapters and may propose them, with amendments, for adoption in 2021.

Last reviewed: August 2020

One and two-family detached dwellings are to comply with Chapter 11 of the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC), as adopted at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.21; all other residential buildings three or fewer stories are to comply with residential portion of the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), as adopted at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.18.  The residential provisions are identical and included in the IRC for ease and usability of the code dedicated to one- and two-family detached dwellings.  All other buildings (i.e. commercial) are to comply with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, as adopted at N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.18. 

The Department of Community Affairs has issued several rule proposals which will update residential and building codes to include additional efficiency.   The BPU continues to work with the Department of Community Affairs to identify opportunities for energy savings through building codes or through code-related options. 

Last reviewed: July 2019

In August 2020, the New Mexico Construction Industries Commission (CIC) voted to adopt the 2018 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC), based on the 2018 IECC with state-specific amendments. The new code reduces energy use in new residential and commercial buildings by about 25 percent relative to the previously adopted 2009 IECC.

Residential buildings must comply with the 2018 IECC and commercial buildings must comply with the 2018 IECC or ASHRAE 90.1-2016, although local governments may adopt more stringent building energy codes. NYStretch Energy Code-2020 was published July 2019 for voluntary, local adoption. To date, NYStretch has been adopted by New York City, the City of Beacon and Hastings-on-Hudson.

Last reviewed: August 2020

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. North Dakota recently adopted the 2018 IECC as its voluntary statewide code – without commercial amendments and with weakening residential amendments – and 91% of the state population resides in jurisdictions that have adopted this code update.

Effective July 1, 2019, a new residential code will be in effect based upon the 2018 IRC/IECC with amendments. Ohio's commercial energy code is mandatory statewide and references both the 2012 IECC and 2010 ASHRAE 90.1 with amendments. The state has completed a gap analysis, offers training and outreach, and involves utilities in code compliance activities. There is no statutory review or update requirement specific to energy codes.  However, there is a general statutory requirement for state agencies to review rules every 5 years. 

Residential buildings must comply with the 2015 IRC; however, the energy chapter references the 2009 IRC. Similarly, commercial buildings must comply with the 2915 ICC/IBC standards, but the energy chapter references the 2006 IECC. Oklahoma does not currently require all jurisdictions to adopt a statewide energy code. The state allows its local jurisdictions to adopt building codes other than the state standards, but none have adopted any standards more stringent than the statewide base code. The state has completed a gap analysis and offers training and outreach. State Minimum Building Energy Codes are amended by the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission (OUBCC) and adopted by the Legislature.

The state's residential building code is equivalent to the 2015 IECC, while the commercial building code is equivalent to 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 2015 IECC, while commercial buildings must comply with the 2015 IECC, with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2013. 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. Rhode Island now has a voluntary stretch code for commercial and residential buildings. 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. In August 2019, the state adopted the 2018 IRC and the 2018 IECC codes with amendments for residential construction. This change went into effect on July 16, 2020. Commercial and state-owned buildings must comply with the 2012 IECC. Tennessee 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. 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.

During the 2019 legislative session, the Utah legislature passed HB 218, which will adopt the 2018 IECC for commercial provisions in its entirety. The amended 2015 IECC residential provisions remain as the statewide residential energy code, with several incremental stringency improvements occurring January 1, 2019.

The 2020 Vermont Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) are mandatory statewide and will become effective September 1, 2020, based on the 2015 Vermont RBES language and including the IECC 2018 energy efficiency requirements as well as select language updates and additional, more stringent Vermont energy efficiency requirements. 

The 2020 Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES) will also become effective September 1, 2020, based on the 2018 IECC and the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 and also includes Vermont specific additions such as more stringent envelope, mechanical, and lighting requirements as well as solar and electric vehicle infrastructure requirements.

The state is required by statute to update its codes every three years. Efficiency Vermont provides trainings to builders, town officials, and others.

Last reviewed: August 2020

With an effective date of September 4, 2018, Virginia's Uniform State Building Code (USBC) has been updated to incorporate energy efficiency provisions for commercial buildings of the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013.  All buildings with permit application date of September 4, 2019 or after must comply. Virginia has completed a baseline compliance study, established a stakeholder advisory group, and offers code trainings.

The 201 Washington State Energy Code is a state-developed code that is mandatory statewide. While based on the 2018 IECC, residential provisions have been extensively modified to provide savings greater than the model code. Commercial provisions have been extensively modified to reach state specific energy reduction targets incorporating parts of ASHRAE 90.1, ASHRAE 90.4 as well as unique features. The resulting code provides savings equivalent to the ASHRAE 90.1 -2016. The state code specifically implements a standard that directly addresses carbon emissions reductions by adopting a unique version of ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G.

Washington has completed a variety of activities to ensure compliance and involves utilities in its efforts.

Last reviewed: August 2020

Residential buildings must comply with the 2009 IECC, while commercial buildings must meet ASHRAE 90.1-2010 standards due to a code update in 2019. 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. In May 2018, the state updated its commercial building energy codes to reference the 2015 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2013, albeit substantial weakening amendments. 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.