Building & Energy Code
Building codes are sets of regulations governing the design, construction, alteration and maintenance of structures. They specify the minimum requirements to adequately safeguard the health, safety and welfare of building occupants and vary from state-to-state. There are multiple versions of state building codes, and also methods of compliance available through national codes such as IECC and ASHRAE that states can accept for alternate avenues of compliance that have differing requirements for energy consumption, envelope testing, commissioning, glazing factors and more. Codes must also be effectively enforced to ensure that buildings and their occupants benefit from advances in seismic provisions in the model codes. For the most part, code enforcement is the responsibility of local government building officials who review design plans, inspect construction work and issue building and occupancy permits.
North Carolina Energy Code Adoption Breakdown (2018):
Even though the model code from the previous version of the 2012 NCECC Code was initially based upon ASHRAE 90.1-2007, DOI did increase it to ASHRAE 90.1-2010 as of January 1, 2015. Thus, the new effective date of using ASHRAE 90.1-2013 will now be the same as the 2018 NCECC on January 1, 2019. Because North Carolina changed the code change cycle from 3 to 6 years, the newest code will be effective on January 1st, 2019 instead of being effective in 2015.
North Carolina’s 2018 Building and Energy Code
The 2018 NC Codes include the 2018 NC Ad-Hoc Committee amendments as adopted by the Building Code Council and approved by the Rules Review Commission along with the 2015 International Codes. Available to VIEW FOR FREE or BUY on the ICC website.
Find the full list of NCECC and NC Building codes on the NCDOI website here!
- Commercial 2018 NC Energy Conservation Code (effective January 1st, 2019)
- 2018 NC Building Code (Chapters 1-15)
- 2018 NC Building Code (Chapters 16-36)
- 2018 NC Existing Building Code (ALSO: Chapter 5 Commercial NCECC Existing Buildings)
International Code Council (ICC)
- 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). A known performance compliance method for North Carolina energy code; the IECC 2015 edition is designed to meet the needs through mode code regulations that will result in the optimal utilization of fossil fuel and nondepletable resources in all communities, large and small.
- IgCC 2018 International Green Construction Code. A whole system approach to the design, construction and operation of buildings, the IgCC contains measures that result in better indoor environments, lower impact on natural resources, better neighborhoods connections, and improved walkability. It’s revised format includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES 189.1-2017.
- ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013. A known compliance method for North Carolina energy code; Standard 90.1-2013 has been a benchmark for commercial building energy codes in the U.S. and a key basis for codes and standards around the world for more than 35 years. The standard provides the minimum requirements for energy-efficient design of most building, except low-rise residential buildings.
- ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings this standard provides minimum requirements for site, design, construction and operations in mandatory, code-enforceable language. A collaborative effort by ASHRAE, IES and USGBC, this standard is comprehensive and includes chapters for site, water, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and materials. ASHRAE 189.1 can be used as a jurisdictional compliance path for the IgCC.
- ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy
- ASHRAE Standard 62.1, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality
- ASHRAE Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
Federal Mandates, Acts, and Executive Orders
- Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
- Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade”
- Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT)
Water-related Legislation and Codes
- Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) Section 438 (stormwater)
- Energy Policy Act of 1992
- Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) Section 109 (process water)
- International Plumbing Code (IPC), (ICC)
- Uniform Plumbing Code 2006, (IAMPO)
- North Carolina Senate Bill 131 Impact to the Application of the 2018 NC Energy Conservation Code
- North Carolina House Bill 201 Impact to the Application of the 2018 NC Energy Conservation Code
- Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (FSRIA)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
Many cities, states, and U.S. Territories have also implemented green standards for public buildings. Every city’s, state’s, and U.S. Territory’s energy goals and requirements are listed, highlighting LEED, Green Globes, and carbon emission reduction goals. New York City and California are two examples of governments that have implemented green standards for public buildings.
North Carolina Energy Code Training
In October – December 2018, NCBPA offered educational workshops for architects, builders and developers, contractors, code officials and others on the new 2018 Commercial Energy Code. In this presentation, registrants learned how to comply with the new minimum code requirements and exceed them through energy efficiency and high performance design, installation, products and services. Focal points included changes to construction documentation, building thermal envelope, air leakage requirements, commissioning plans and how to prove compliance without the availability of NC specific COMcheck.
If you would like more information or a copy of this 2 hour code workshop presentation, please reach out to NCBPA at Info@BuildingNC.org or call 919-841-6207 to express interest in accessing this material. This information is exclusively available to all NCBPA members and workshop attendees.
Advancing North Carolina’s Codes
On March 23rd of 2018, NCBPA submitted letters to the state’s Energy Policy Council and the Governor’s office with a variety of recommendations for increasing North Carolina’s strategic use of energy efficiency. For building and energy codes, NCBPA recommends that the state government support improving energy efficiency minimum requirements and available options in North Carolina’s residential and commercial building and energy codes. To read the full breakdown of the following topics, visit the NCBPA website on Building and Energy Codes here.
- Improve Energy Efficiency Minimum Requirements and Available Options in North Carolina’s Residential and Commercial Building and Energy Codes
- Priority Areas for Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency Code Changes
- Needed Market and Regulatory Changes Related to Energy Code