Virginia

Last updated on 2014-05-21

Current News

BHCD/DHCD adopts the 2012 IECC with amendments effective July 1, 2014 with a one year interim period until effective.

Current Code2012 IECC with Amendments
Amendments / Additional State Code InformationTitle 13, Chapter 63 http://register.dls.virginia.gov/details.aspx?id=4357

Approved Compliance ToolsCan use COMcheck
State Specific Research Impacts of ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for Commercial Buildings in the State of Virginia (BECP Report, Sept. 2009)
Approximate Energy EfficiencyEquivalent to 2012 IECC
Effective Date07/01/2015
Adoption Date07/01/2014
Code EnforcementMandatory
DOE DeterminationASHRAE 90.1-2007: Yes
ASHRAE 90.1-2010: No

Energy cost savings for Virginia resulting from the state updating its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law are significant, estimated to be on the order of nearly $500 million annually by 2030.

Virginia DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013


Current Code2012 IECC with Amendments
Amendments / Additional State Code Information

Title 13, Chapter 63  http://register.dls.virginia.gov/details.aspx?id=4357



Approved Compliance ToolsCan use REScheck
State Specific Research Impacts of the 2009 IECC for Residential Buildings in the State of Virginia (BECP Report, Sept. 2009)
Approximate Energy EfficiencyEquivalent to 2012 IECC
Effective Date07/01/2015
Adoption Date07/01/2014
Code EnforcementMandatory
DOE Determination2009 IECC: Yes
2012 IECC: No

Energy cost savings for Virginia resulting from the state updating its commercial and residential building energy codes in accordance with federal law are significant, estimated to be on the order of nearly $500 million annually by 2030.

Virginia DOE Determination Letter, May 31, 2013


Code Change ProcessRegulatory
Code Change CycleReviewed
Timeline of CycleEvery 3 years

State Owned / Funded Buildings

"All state agencies and institutions constructing state-owned facilities over 5,000 gross ft2 in size, and renovations of such buildings valued at 50% of the assessed building value, shall be designed and constructed to meet the IECC and consistent with energy performance standards at least as energy efficient as LEED Silver or Green Globes 2 Globes Standards, agencies and institutions are instructed to purchase or lease Energy Star-rated appliances and equipment, if Energy Star is available for the category of equipment/appliance. In addition, the order instructs the Commonwealth to encourage the private sector to adopt energy-efficient building standards by giving preference when leasing facilities for state use to facilities meeting LEED Silver or Green Globes Two Globes standards." Executive Order 82, "Greening of State Government" 2009.

Adoption Process

Virginia adopts the International Codes (ICC)a year after the publication year by ICC (which occurs every three years). The Board of Housing and Community Development (a Governor-appointed board) has authority to adopt changes to the USBC. The process is very similar to the federal regulatory process. The Board of Housing and Community Development may adopt whatever provision it deems necessary. The adoption process for modifications may take 18 months. Publications include new provisions and modifications to the code. Public hearings are also included in the process. The BHCD has a transparent and inconclusive code change process where there are ad-hoc committees and workgroups of stakeholders that convene for 25-40 meetings during the 18 month regulatory cycle to vet code changes and reach consensus.

The General Assembly rarely enact technical building code requirements. They have enacted legislation for retrofit provisions mostly related to unsafe existing buildings, lead and asbestos removal in existing buildings, annual elevator maintenance inspections and life safety matters such as smoke detectors and sprinklers for existing nursing homes and hospitals.

Enforcement Process

The local building department enforces the USBC requirements through plan reviews and inspections. An appeal to the code official's decision is also handled at the local level. The Virginia Building Code Technical Review Board (TRB) is responsible for official interpretations of the USBC. The TRB meets to review a request for interpretation upon receipt. Other interested and affected parties have an opportunity to participate in the interpretation. It generally takes 90 days for an interpretation to be approved. Official interpretations are published in the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development monthly newsletter and serve to clarify certain provisions of the USBC. An official interpretation is considered law and must be enforced by the applicable state and local agencies.

Compliance Process

Compliance for non-state buildings is demonstrated through plan review and inspection at the local level.

The Director of the Virginia Department of General Services, acting through the Division of Engineering and Buildings, acts as the code official for state buildings. This office performs plan reviews and construction inspections for all state buildings.

Based on new state law, the University of Virginia, William and Mary College and Virginia Tech have their own building official enforcing the USBC as does Dulles, Reagan national and Newport News Airports.

Background

Virginia adopted the USBC in 1973, a statewide building code based on the BOCA Basic Codes. The statewide requirements cannot be altered by local jurisdictions. Prior to 1973, local government was free to adopt codes. The current USBC adopts by reference the 2000 IECC for energy efficiency criteria, effective October 1, 2003.
On October 1, 2005, the 2003 with reference to ASHRAE 90.1.2004 becamce effective.

Effective May 1, 2008, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development updated the USBC per its three year code change cycle to coincide with the 2006 editions of the International Code Council model codes. The 2006 Virginia codes incorporate the customized text of the Virginia administrative and technical amendments within the base text of the ICC model codes. Each code discipline will consist of a single volume, inclusive of the Uniform Statewide Building Code amended language, with no need for separate USBC pamphlets that historically accompanied the ICC model codes for enforcement regulations in Virginia.

The Codes and Standards Committee of the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development met on Monday, June 22 to review the 2009 I-Codes and code changes to make decisions on proposed building regulations. The Committee unanimously approved proposals that included updating the energy code to reference the 2009 IECC. The next meeting of the full Board is scheduled for Monday, July 27, for the consideration of proposed regulations for the Uniform Statewide Building Code. A 60-day comment period on the 2009 IRC and IECC is expected later this year. View the Virginia DHCD Calendar of Events for more information about these meetings.

The 2009 USBC/IECC was approved July 27, 2010 and went into effect on March 1, 2011.

The 2012 USBC/IECC was approved and adopted July 1, 2014 and goes into effect on July 1, 2015 with a one year interim period.