Residential Codes and Standards

Residential buildings include one- and two-family attached or detached dwellings, and multi-family buildings three or fewer stories above grade. The process defined under Regulation and Rulemaking is used to develop building energy codes for residential federal buildings and manufactured houses, which are built in a factory and transported to the home site.

International Energy Conservation Code

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is developed and published by the International Code Council (ICC) and is maintained through a tri-annual public consensus process.

Revision Process

The IECC is revised every three years through the ICC’s governmental consensus process. Code change proposals may be submitted by any interested party and are vetted through two public hearings at which stakeholders can debate proposals' merits. Between the two hearings, the public has the opportunity to submit written comments, which may include suggested changes to any proposal. At the Initial Action Hearing, proponents and opponents of change proposals make their arguments before a committee of experts assembled by the ICC. While at the Final Action Hearing, arguments are presented to the ICC Governmental Member Representatives present at the hearing.

DOE's Participation

DOE participates in the ICC consensus process to update the residential building provisions of the IECC by proposing changes and testifying at the public hearings. DOE develops proposals using its residential energy and cost analysis methodology to make sure the proposed changes are cost effective. DOE develops its proposals in an open manner and invites public comment. Through this development process, DOE works to foster increased efficiency in residential buildings.

For more information on the DOE role in the development of building energy codes, visit the About section of this website.

ASHRAE Standard 90.2

Proposed changes to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2, Energy-Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings are developed as addenda to the current edition of the standard. When approved, these changes are published as separate addenda. Every three years, those addenda that have been approved are aggregated and incorporated into a new edition of Standard 90.2.

Revision Process

Like all ASHRAE standards, Standard 90.2 is developed and revised according to a process defined by ASHRAE and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ASHRAE assembles a Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) having a membership of balanced interests. The SSPC oversees all proposed modifications to the standard. Standard 90.2 is a continuous maintenance standard, meaning any interested person may submit proposed revisions to be considered by the SSPC at any time. Proposals (possibly modified by the SSPC) having received a majority vote of the SSPC are periodically published by ASHRAE for public review. Having reviewed and considered all comments and having attempted to resolve any disagreements with commenters, the SSPC will, by majority vote, forward approved proposals (known as addenda) through the ASHRAE approval process. After an opportunity for appeals, the Board of Directors will approve the addenda for publication in the next revision of the standard.

Anyone may attend and participate in the SSPC's meetings and development activities, including submiting proposed changes, contributing technical inputs, participating in technical discussions and debates, and, if necessary, appealing SSPC decisions. Interested stakeholders may become non-voting members of the committee, if approved by the SSPC chair.

DOE's Participation

DOE participates in the ASHRAE Standard 90.2 development process by contributing voting and non-voting membership and participation on SSPC-90.2, providing analytical and other technical support to the SSPC, and by participating in the development of addenda. DOE seeks to incorporate all energy efficiency measures that are cost effective so that Standard 90.2 is a viable alternative standard for state adoption.

For more information on the DOE role in the development of building energy codes, visit the About section of this website.