Changes to the state energy code must first be processed through the North Dakota Division of Community Services. After a review by the Division of Community Services, changes are processed through a technical review committee composed of building officials, design professionals, and other applicable organizations and then through a series of public hearings. Rules and regulations associated with a new code are established through the Administrative Practices Act. Code changes are processed on a three-year code cycle corresponding to the publication of the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) model codes.
Statewide enforcement is not required by the state energy code. State or local government-owned and -funded buildings are covered by the code, as well as buildings receiving federal grants from the OIA. Enforcement is not required at the local level unless the code is adopted by a local jurisdiction.
Compliance for state buildings is determined by plan review and inspection conducted by the agency constructing the building.
North Dakota's first energy code was adopted in 1977, which was based on ASHRAE/IES Standard 90-1975. This code remained in effect until 1993 when the 1989 MEC was adopted as a statewide minimum/maximum standard for state-funded buildings and a voluntary standard for jurisdictions that chose to adopt an energy code. In October 1995 the code was updated to the 1993 MEC. Effective as of December 1, 2008, the North Dakota State Building Code includes the 2006 International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC). However, the energy efficiency chapters (Chapter 13 of the IBC and Chapter 11 of the IRC) have been deleted. Also note that the State Building Code does not currently include the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), or International Fire Code (IFC). These codes, to be in effect, must be adopted separately by each city, county, or township. In May 2009, the state legislature passed a bill removing the voluntary energy code (the 1993 MEC and ASHRAE 90.1-1989) from state law (effective August 2009) and placing it under the purview of the North Dakota State Building Code. The state Building Code Advisory Committee now has the authority to make recommendations that could include energy standards future editions of the State Building Code. The state Building Code Advisory Committee is scheduled (page 2) to meet in spring 2010 to proceed with the process of adopting new codes.
Effective August 2009, the state's voluntary energy codes (the 1993 MEC and ASHRAE 90.1-1989) were removed. With the new statute, the state's Code Advisory Committee must include energy requirements in the state building codes (currently, the 2006 I-Codes with the energy efficiency sections of Chapter 11 of the IRC and Chapter 13 of the IBC removed). These codes are, of course, still voluntary and subject to adoption by local ordinance.