Friday, February 5, 2010

Code Updates from BCAP

The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) is reporting the following updates.


On January 14, a bill (HB 264) was introduced in the Alabama State Legislature that would provide a process for adoption and compliance with codes required under federal law (Recovery Act). On January 26, the House passed the bill unanimously.

The bill would accomplish the following:

• 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
• Replace a reference to the Model Energy Code with the new Alabama Energy and Residential Codes for the State of Alabama, established as the 2006 IECC/Standard 90.1-2007 for commercial buildings and the 2006 IRC for residential buildings, or “any subsequent editions, or any other code which the board officially adopts”. The Board must adopt updates and changes to these model codes within two years of the publication of their most recent version.
• Prohibit local jurisdictions from adopting codes that conflict with the new state codes or amending code requirements mandated by the Recovery Act (jurisdictions that have already adopted codes by the effective date of the act would exempt from adopting the state code)
• Prohibit local jurisdictions from either legally requiring residential fire sprinklers or restricting consumers’ choice to install them
• Exempt farm structures from these provisions


In October 2009, a bill (No. 2332) was introduced in the Kauai County Council that would adopt the 2009 IECC with county-specific amendments for all new and renovated commercial and residential buildings. On January 26, the mayor of Kauai County approved the bill as Ordinance 890. The new code will become effective on approximately May 26 (120 days after enactment). The other three Hawaiian counties have adopted county-specific versions of the 2006 IECC, while work continues developing a tropical energy code based on the 2009 IECC for statewide adoption.


On January 28, a companion bills (HB 3215 and SB 3192) were introduced in the Tennessee House and Senate that would establish ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 as the minimum energy standard for all new buildings that are not 1- and 2-family dwellings. The bills, however, also allow jurisdictions to adopt Standard 90.1-2001, its equivalent, or a more stringent code. The state currently does not have a mandatory energy code for this construction. If it became law, the legislation would be effective July 1, 2010.