Alabama

Current News: 
The Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board has adopted the 2015 Alabama Residential Energy Code and the 2015 Alabama Commercial Energy Code. The Commercial Energy Code will take effect on January 1, 2016. The Residential Energy Code will take effect on October 1, 2016. For information regarding training opportunities on the new codes, and resources go to: http://adeca.alabama.gov/Divisions/energy/Pages/EnergyCodes.aspx. The State of Alabama has joined the ranks of state and municipal code jurisdictions that have incorporated the Energy Rating Index as a compliance option to their residential energy building codes. The Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board has adopted the 2015 Alabama Residential Energy Code. The Alabama Residential Energy Code incorporates the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with state modifications. Included with the adoption is the Energy Rating Index compliance option (R406). The required Energy Rating Index score in Alabama that must be met is 70 or lower. In Alabama in 2015 there were 1,618 homes HERS rated and issued a HERS Index Score. The average HERS Index Score of homes rated in the state was 73. RESNET and the International Code Council (ICC) recently conducted a webinar on the Energy Rating Index Option to the 2015 IECC and the opportunities for certified RESNET HERS Raters to be ICC certified Energy Code Inspectors. To download the webinar go to ICC/RESNET Energy Rating Index Webinar for Code Officials RESNET and the ICC have produced a video production explaining how HERS can be used to demonstrated compliance to an energy code. To view the video go to HERS Index and Energy Codes
Current Code:
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013
Amendments / Additional State Code Information: No Amendments: 305-2-4-.08 Commercial Energy Code. (1) The ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013 shall be implemented and enforced for commercial buildings. (2) For purposes of enforcement, this code shall become effective on January 1, 2016.

Approved Compliance Tools: Can use COMcheck
Approximate Energy Efficiency: Equivalent to ASHRAE 90.1-2013
Effective Date:
Jan. 01, 2016
Code Enforcement:
Mandatory
DOE Determination: ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007: Yes
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010: Yes

Alabama State Certification of Commercial Building Energy Codes
Current Code:
2015 IECC with Amendments
Amendments / Additional State Code Information:

Note:  2009 IECC with amendments is effective until new adopted code becomes effective October 2016.

305-2-4-.10 RESIDENTIAL ENERGY CODE. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as modified.  Amendments

Some proposed amendments include:

- R402.2.2.1 (N1102.2.2.1) Semi-conditioned attics. Where table N1102.1.1 (R402.1.1) requires R-30 or Table N1102.1.3 (R402.1.3) requires a U-factor of 0.035, Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) with a U-factor of 0.05 or R-value of R-20 shall be deemed equivalent to the provisions in N1102.2.2 (R402.2.2).

- R402.3.2.1 (N1102.3.2.1) Glazed fenestration SHGC exception. In Climate Zones 2 and 3, permanently shaded vertical fenestration shall be permitted to satisfy the SHGC requirements. The projection factor of an overhang, eave, or permanently attached shading device shall be greater than or equal to the value listed in table N1102.2.3.1 for the appropriate orientation. The minimum projection shall extend beyond each side of the glazing a minimum of 12 inches (0.3m). Each orientation shall be rounded to the nearest cardinal orientation (+/-45 degrees or 0.79 rad) for purposes of calculations and demonstrating compliance.

- R402.4.1.2 (N1102.4.1.2) Testing (Mandatory). The building or dwelling unit shall be tested and verified as having an air leakage rate not exceeding 5 air changes per hour.

- R406.4 (N1106.4) ERI-based compliance. Compliance based on an ERI analysis requires that the rated design be shown to have an ERI less than or equal to a score of 70 in both zones 2 and 3 when compared to the ERI reference design.



Approved Compliance Tools:
Approximate Energy Efficiency: Less energy efficient than 2015 IECC
Effective Date:
Oct. 01, 2016
Adoption Date:
Code Enforcement:
Mandatory
Jurisdictions:
DOE Determination: 2009 IECC: Yes
2012 IECC: Yes

Alabama State Certification of Residential Building Energy Codes
Code Change Process:
Both Regulatory and Legislative
Code Change Cycle:
None

State Owned / Funded Buildings

In November of 2008, the Alabama Building Commission adopted the 2006 IECC as the mandatory code for buildings constructed or remodeled using state funds. Enforcement of the new code began on December 1, 2008.

Adoption Process

The Alabama Building Commission must adopt revisions to the code that affect state-funded buildings. For buildings other than those that are state-owned or -funded, the local government must adopt and implement the RECA code. Local adoption generally occurs through a vote of the city council or county commission. Depending on the form of government, the mayor may be required to sign the law.

Enforcement Process

For state-owned or -funded buildings, the design professional works with the Alabama Building Commission to establish compliance. For all other buildings, units of local government enforce compliance. If a local government adopts the 2015 IECC AL Residential Energy Code, the code requirements are enforced through the permit/inspection process for new construction and additions. Depending on the size of the local government unit, the same office may perform plan reviews and inspections.

Compliance Process

For state-owned or-funded buildings, the Alabama Building Commission reviews plans and specifications to ensure compliance. For other buildings in localities that have adopted an energy code, compliance is addressed through the normal permit process. Typically, plans are submitted and reviewed and buildings are inspected during construction.

Background

Prior to July 31, 1995, cities and counties in Alabama were free to adopt energy codes as they deemed appropriate. Most cities and counties that chose to adopt an energy code selected Appendix E of the 1994 Standard Building Code (SBC) or a prior edition of the SBC. Appendix E allows alternatives to complying with the 1995 MEC, including ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1989 for commercial buildings and ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90A-1980 and ASHRAE/IES Standard 90B-1975 for residential buildings.

On July 31, 1995, the Governor of Alabama signed House Bill (HB) 616. HB 616 requires cities and counties that choose to adopt a residential building energy code to adopt the 1993 Council of American Building Officials (CABO) MEC or its successors. HB 616 defines the MEC as follows: "The 1993 Edition of the Model Energy Code as prepared and maintained by the Council of American Building Officials, or any subsequent editions, changes, or recompilations thereof, or any other energy code, which the board has officially adopted."

HB 616 created the Alabama Residential Energy Code Board to promote the use and implementation of the MEC in Alabama. The Board advises the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) on implementation activities and provides for the mandatory implementation of and adherence to the MEC if a unit of local government chooses to adopt it in whole or in part. ADECA reported passage of the bill to the U.S. Department of Energy as part of their residential energy code certification under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 in a second certification letter dated August 8, 1995.

The 2004 Alabama Building Energy Conservation Code (ABECC) for state-funded buildings was adopted by the Alabama Building Commission on January 1, 2005, and is based on ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001.

After an attempt in the state legislature to require the 2006 IECC for commercial buildings failed in the state Senate, a joint resolution established the 2006 IECC as the recommended code for the state of Alabama. Effective December 1, 2008, all new construction within the jurisdiction of the state building commission (state-funded buildings) became subject to the 2006 IECC.

Alabama legislation signed March 9, 2010, changed the Alabama Residential Energy Code Board to Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board. The Model Energy Code was replaced with Alabama Energy and Residential Codes, which allows modern building and energy codes in compliance with federal law to be implemented by counties and municipalities.

On January 26, 2010, the House unanimously passed HB 264, which provided a process for the statewide adoption of codes. On February 9, 2010, the bill was amended on the floor of the Senate and approved. On March 2, 2010, the House passed a committee substitute bill which the Senate concurred the same day. The bill was signed on March 9, 2010.

On November 7, 2011, the Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board voted to adopt the 2009 IECC for Commercial Buildings and the 2009 IRC for Residential Construction. The new codes will become effective on October 1, 2012.

The 2015 Alabama residential code becomes effective October 2016.  ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings effective January 1, 2016.