The draft Virgin Islands Energy Building Code has to be adopted through the legislative process.
Final inspection and approval of all buildings ready for occupancy is to be completed by the Virgin Islands government building or energy inspector within 10 working days of a formal request.
After the code is adopted, applicants requiring building permits for new structures will first submit a completed Energy Conservation Code Guideline Form to the Virgin Islands Energy Office for approval before the Department of Planning and Natural Resources can issue a permit. All construction or work (including plans and other required documents) for which a permit is required are subject to inspection by the Virgin Islands government building or energy inspector.
The Virgin Islands building code was first enacted on April 1, 1964, but did not address energy conservation in new building construction and/or major renovations. The building code was adopted pursuant to Chapter 5, Title 29, of the Virgin Island Code. It adopted by reference the ICBO 1994 Uniform Building Code and subsequent amendments for buildings except one- and two-family dwellings. Chapter 13 on energy conservation was not adopted. For one- and two-family dwellings, the one- and two-family dwelling code and subsequent amendments were adopted. Appendix E on energy conservation was not adopted.
In 1990 the Virgin Islands Energy Office (VIEO) initiated a review of the Draft Virgin Islands Code for Energy Conservation in New Building Construction. This proposed code partially adopted ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989 for commercial construction and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.2 for residential construction and eliminated the heating requirements within those documents. That draft code was never adopted as part of the building code.
In 1995 the Virgin Islands Energy Office requested technical and financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Energy to review the draft energy code. A technical team reviewed the draft code and determined that it was lengthy, confusing, and not user-friendly. The team then composed a more user-friendly residential and commercial code based on the Council of American Building Officials (CABO) Model Energy Code (MEC) and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989. The current draft, the Virgin Island Energy Building Code, addresses ventilation, shading, and cooling in residential homes. The commercial provisions address cooling, lighting, insulation, and water heating. This draft has not been finalized and adopted.