Skip to main content


State Profile

Code Type: Commercial Residential
Current State Code 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 2009 IECC with Amendments
Effective Date
Adoption Date
State Amendments Yes Yes
State Code Analysis*
Enforcement Mandatory Statewide Mandatory Statewide
Can use COM/REScheck Yes Yes


Commercial Residential
Current Model Code ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 2009 IECC
Yes Yes

Model Code Savings Potential

Statewide Savings Potential (2010-2030) Residential Commercial
Cost $0.38B $0.40B
Energy (primary) 38MBtu 48MBtu

Consumer Cost Savings

Consumer Cost Savings Residential
per Home
per 1,000 ft2
Annual ($) $440 $139
Annual (%) 23.7%
Life-cycle (30 year) $6159 $1950
Simple Payback 3.8 years 0.0 years
Positive Cash Flow 0.5 years


Code Type: Residential Commercial
Field Study Yes No
Training Program No No

Additional Information



    The KBC became a minimum statewide requirement on February 15, 1980, for all buildings over three stories in height, in excess of 20,000 square feet and intended for assembly, educational, institutional, or high hazard occupancy or business or industrial occupancies in excess of 100 occupants. In steps, the KBC became effective for all buildings, and by August 15, 1982, the code was applied throughout the entire state of Kentucky.

    Kentucky later adopted the 1990 BOCA National Building Code (BOCA 1990a), which allowed compliance using ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90A-1980 (ASHRAE 1980) or the 1989 MEC.

    Effective July 1, 1994, the state of Kentucky mandated compliance with the 1994 KBC, which is based on the 1993 BOCA International National Building Code (NBC), and therein adopted the 1992 MEC.

    Effective July 1, 1997, the state of Kentucky mandated compliance with the 1997 KBC, which is based on the 1996 BOCA International NBC. One of the amendments they made to the 1996 NBC was to modify Chapter 13 to reference the 1992 MEC as opposed to the 1995 MEC referenced in the 1996 NBC.

    On July 1, 2005 the residential energy code was the 2000 IECC, while the commercial provisions referenced the 2003 IECC.

    The 2007 Kentucky Building Code (KBC) applies to commercial buildings based on the 2006 IBC. It became effective July 1, 2007.

    The 2007 Kentucky Residential Code (KRC) applies to residential buildings based in the 2006 IRC, with some modifications to the energy code. Due to a delay during the public comment process, it did not become effective until August 1, 2007.

    In addition to these changes, Kentucky now requires inspections of all new HVAC systems statewide (both commercial and residential). Section N1101.8 of the residential code requires a permanent certificate to be posted on or in the electrical distribution panel listing the predominant R-values and other energy related features of the structure, but an energy code inspection is not conducted by state code officials for single family dwellings, two-family dwellings and townhouses under the purview of the residential code.

    The 2007 Kentucky Building Code, revised June 2009 is now available. This document contains all the errata and the latest code changes that went into effect on June 27, 2009.

    KY adopted the 2009 IECC by reference in their updated 2007 Kentucky Building Code. IECC-09 (Effective 3/6/2011 with mandatory compliance beginning 6/1/2011)

    KY Residential was also updated, however, the provisions for the 2006 IECC remain unchanged.

    Kentucky moves forward with the 2009 IECC by reference in their updated 2007 Kentucky Building Code. 2009 IECC is effective 3/6/2011 with mandatory compliance beginning 6/1/2011.

    Kentucky residential code was also updated to the 2009 IECC.  The code is effective 7/1/2012 with an enforcement date of 10/1/2012.

    State-Owned/Funded Buildings

    Started in 2005, expanded in 2008 and 2009, now requires all projects with 50% or greater funding from state to "meet high performance building standards."

    LEED required for all new buildings, level of certification depends on budget.

    Projects between $5 and $25 million must achieve LEED Certification and earn a minimum of seven points under the Energy and Atmosphere Credit 1, Optimize Energy Performance standards. Public Building Energy Standard, 2009.

    Adoption Process

    The KBC is generally updated every three years on a cycle one year behind the publication year for the International Building Code. Any changes to the code by the state of Kentucky are submitted to the Board of Housing for review by the Departmeent of Housing, Buildings, and Construction Division of Building Codes Enforcement. The changes are approved in this forum and are forwarded to the Legislative Research Committee for public comment and further review.

    The board evaluates the KBC generally every three years. During the three-year cycle, proposed changes to the KBC may be submitted for consideration and voted upon by the board. No scheduled code change process is in force; the process is triggered when proposals are submitted.

    The Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction Division of Building Codes and Enforcement is responsible for complying with code changes and amendments. Once changes and amendments are adopted and entered as part of the state requirements, they become state law by the state statute.

    Enforcement Process

    Responsibilities are shared between the Division of Building Codes Enforcement and local government. Local jurisdictions are required to follow the statewide energy provisions and are not allowed to reference or enforce any other standard or code other than the KBC except for the codes and standards that are referenced in the KBC. In addition to this requirement local jurisdictions may enforce Kentucky Residential Code as an alternative method of compliance when the scope of coverage has been extended to include homes that are not trade-name or brand-name homes.

    Compliance with the energy provisions are verified through a plan review and field inspections by the local code officials. Formal interpretations of the code are made by Mr. George Mann, Deputy Commissioner with the Department of Housing Buildings and Construction.

    Compliance Process

    Compliance with the KBC is determined by plan review by either the Department of Housing, Buildings, and Construction or local jurisdictions.