Utah State Building Board raised the High Performance Building Rating System standards to require all new state buildings to achieve LEED Silver certification. Specifically, new building projects must achieve the following credits: WE Credit 1.1, EA Credit 3, EQ Credit 3.1, EQ Credit 4.1, EQ Credit 4.2.
Changes to the energy code are submitted to the Uniform Building Code Commission. The proposed change is reviewed by the Commission at a monthly meeting to decide if it warrants further consideration. The Commission also examines if enforcement will be enacted as a statewide amendment or restricted to a specific locality. Based upon further consideration, the Commission submits their recommendation to the Business and Labor Interim Committee of the Utah State Legislature. The Utah State Legislature is vested with the authority to adopt energy code. Enforcement by the local enforcement agency is mandatory once changes are adopted by the Utah State Legislature.
The energy code is part of the enforcement process for the state building code, which is mandatory statewide. Educational and awareness programs have improved compliance with the energy code requirements. The Division of Facilities Construction Management is responsible for enforcement for all state-owned or -funded buildings.
All residential buildings (one- and two-family dwellings, and multi-family dwellings three stories high and less) comply with the 2006 IECC using the compliance pathways, plan submittal, and plan review as specified within that code. Commercial and high-rise residential buildings that must comply with 2006 IECC or ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004 follow the compliance pathways in that code and go through a similar plan submittal and plan review process. Plans and specifications must be submitted when required by the local jurisdiction. Field inspections, as part of the normal building inspection process, are required prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. If the local compliance agency refuses to establish a method of appeal to their interpretation and application of the State Uniform Building Standards, the appealing party may petition the Building Code Commission for agency action on the issue.
A Utah Uniform Building Standards Act was passed in 1953. In January 1976 a bill was passed that provided for the adoption of an energy conservation code for state buildings, suggested voluntary compliance by the state's political subdivisions, and recommended voluntary compliance by the state's building industry. In March 1977 legislation was passed requiring the Building Board to promulgate an energy conservation code and providing political subdivisions and the State Board of Education authority to adopt their own code or a modified version of the state code. Effective January 1978, a code based on the Model Code for Energy Conservation (MCEC) went into effect. In July 1993 the Uniform Building Standards Act was amended to provide that the Division of Professional Licensing, along with the Building Code Commission, adopt by rule the specific edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), Uniform Building Code (UBC), Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC), and Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) to be used as the state standard. Power was also given to adopt successor editions of the adopted codes. On February 14, 1995, amendments adopted Appendix Chapter 13 of the 1994 UBC with a sole reference to the 1993 MEC for low-rise residential buildings and a sole reference to ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 for high-rise residential and commercial buildings. Amendments to Appendix Chapter 13, Section 1302.2, of the UBC were adopted effective July 1, 1998, indicating low-rise residential buildings shall be designed to comply with the requirements of the 1995 MEC. Commercial and high-rise residential buildings shall be designed to comply with the requirements of the Energy Code for Commercial and High-Rise Residential Building, which is a codification of ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989, Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The 1995 Council of American Building Officials (CABO) Model Energy Code (MEC) was amended in Section 502.2.1 by referring to different requirements for metal stud framing. Specifically, the Uw (thermal transmittance for an opaque wall [w]) for a metal stud wall must be as published in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals, using an approved ASHRAE series or parallel approach calculation, or U-values shown in the "Users Manual for ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989." The codified version of ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1989 was amended to allow building officials to approve designs which do not conform where in his/her opinion full compliance is physically and/or economically impractical. On January 1, 2007, the 2006 IECC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2004 became effective. Effective May 12, 2009, the Utah State Legislature became the exclusive authority for the adoption of the building codes, including an energy code. On July 1, 2010, the 2009 IECC with reference to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 became effective with the following state-wide amendment "IRC, Chapter 11, is deleted and replaced with Chapter 11 of the 2006 IRC and Chapter 4 of the 2006 IECC".
On October 20, 2010, Utah legislators turned down the adoption of the 2009 IECC for residential buildings. In January of 2012 it was reintroduced in Bill 262.