Thursday, January 21, 2010

Codes Updates Reported by BCAP

Below are some of the latest codes updates being reported by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP)


On January 14, a bill known as HB 264 was introduced in the Alabama State Legislature. This bill would provide a process for adoption and compliance with codes required under federal law, the Recovery Act. The bill would, in part, accomplish the following:

1.) Replace the Alabama Energy Code Board with the Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board, giving the new board sole authority over adoption and implementation of the state’s energy codes

2.) Replace a reference to the Model Energy Code with the new Alabama Energy and Residential Codes, established as the 2006 IECC/Standard 90.1-2007 for commercial buildings and the 2006 IRC for residential buildings, or “any subsequent editions”

3.) Prohibit local jurisdictions from adopting codes that conflict with the new state codes or amending code requirements mandated by the Recovery Act


A bill known as SB 220 was introduced in the Alaska State Legislature as the Alaska Sustainable Energy Act, which intends to achieve a 10 percent increase in energy efficiency on a per capita basis by 2015 and a 15 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2020. The legislation declares the state’s energy policy to include statewide energy codes for public buildings and assistance for local communities interested in implementing residential and commercial energy codes.

Among the provisions of the bill, the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is charged with administering an energy efficiency grant fund to incentivize new or retrofitted public buildings to comply with the latest version of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 or achieve LEED certification. The bill also establishes an energy use index database for public buildings and requires energy audits at least once every seven years.


On January 12, California adopted the nation’s first mandatory green building standards. Effective January 1, 2011, all new buildings must comply with the 2010 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGREEN). The California Air Resources Board estimates that the mandatory provisions will curb greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 3 million metric tons in 2020, helping the state reach its goal of 33 percent GHG reduction this decade.
Among other provisions, CALGREEN will require mandatory inspections of energy systems for nonresidential buildings over 10,000 square feet.


After the Hawaii Building Code Council approved the 2006 IECC with state-specific amendments on October 13, work has begun on the development of a statewide code to be based on the 2009 IECC. The 2009 IECC subcommittee of the Dept. of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism met on January 12 in Honolulu. Minutes from the Oct. 13, Nov. 4, Dec. 8, and Jan. 12 meetings are now available.


On January 12, a bill called SB 745 was introduced in the Missouri General Assembly that would establish a mandatory statewide energy code for residential and commercial construction and renovation. By August 28, 2011, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would have to establish the Missouri Uniform Building Energy Code, to be based on the most recent editions of the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1. DNR would be required to adopt new editions of the model codes within 9 months of their publication, and local jurisdictions would have to adopt the new state code within 120 days of its approval. Municipalities would be charged with enforcing the state code and would be allowed to adopt more stringent requirements.


On January 18, a bill known as HB 2927 was introduced in the Washington State Legislature that would delay the implementation of the 2009 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC), as approved by the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) on November 20, until such time that the SBCC provides a Small Business Economic Impact Statement for review and action by the Legislature’s Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee (JARRC). The new regulations are currently set to become effective on July 1. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Technology, Energy & Communications.