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State Profile

Code Type: Commercial Residential
Current State Code 2021 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2019 with Amendments 2018 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 $1.00B $0.95B
Energy (primary) 81MBtu 115MBtu

Consumer Cost Savings

Consumer Cost Savings Residential
per Home
per 1,000 ft2
Annual ($) $433 $144
Annual (%) 20.5%
Life-cycle (30 year) $6389 $1970
Simple Payback 3.4 years 0.0 years
Positive Cash Flow 0.4 years


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

Additional Information



    Prior to July 1, 1979, the rules of the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) were compiled in a document known as the Ohio Building Code. On October 20, 1978, the Board adopted a rule, effective July 1, 1979, repealing most of the existing Ohio Building Code. The resulting collection of model code sections and superseding Ohio provisions, together with the CABO Model Energy Code (MEC), among others, comprised the OBBC. Among the previous updates:

    • The 1993 MEC and ASHRAE 90.1-1989 went into effect July 1, 1995.
    • On March 1, 1998, the 1995 MEC was adopted and became effective.
    • On March 1, 2005 the 2003 IECC went into effect.


    2006 IECC Update: The 2006 IECC went into effect on January 1, 2008. On March 28, 2008, the Ohio Board of Building Standards made a request to the Governor's Office for an executive order to authorize the filing of emergency rules. On March 31, 2008, the Governor signed Executive Order 2008-06S authorizing the BBS to file the emergency rules. BBS filed the emergency rules the same day; after March 31, construction documents for all residential one-, two-, and three-family dwelling projects were required to only meet or exceed the 2003 IECC and the 2005 NEC to comply with the RCO. Non-residential construction would continue to use 2008 OBC, referencing the 2006 IECC and the 2008 NEC for compliance throughout this time period.

    After a review of the 2006 IECC by a specially appointed Ad-Hoc committee consisting of several home builders, staff from the Ohio Energy Office, an energy rater, and BBS staff, the committee made a recommendation to propose re-adoption of the 2006 IECC with the addition of a unique Ohio prescriptive path that offers another method of compliance for one-, two-, and three-family dwellings. A public hearing was held on November 7, 2008 to receive public comments.

    2009 RCO Update: Effective January 1, 2009, BBS re-adopted the 2006 IECC and added an additional prescriptive option for demonstrating energy code compliance for one-, two-, and three-family dwellings. Compliance can be demonstrated by the requirements of the 2006 IECC, OR meeting the requirements of sections 1101-1103 of Chapter 11 of the Residential Code of Ohio, OR by meeting the state code's new Prescriptive Energy Requirements (section 1104).


    2011 OBC Update: The BBS set a November 1, 2011 effective date for the code updates to the Ohio Building Code, Ohio Mechanical Code and the Ohio Plumbing Code. On March 7, 2011, the Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) approved a January 21 BBS recommendation to update the state’s nonresidential energy standards.

    Part D of Amendments Group LXXXIII (see items 14-21) would update the Ohio Building Code (OBC) to incorporate the 2009 International Building Code (IBC), including its references to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as compliances paths for energy efficiency for non-residential buildings (see page D-622, rule number 4101:1-13-01). The OBC currently references the 2006 IBC.

    2013 RCO Update: On May 28, 2012, the BBS updated the Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) to reference the 2009 IECC with two state-developed alternative compliance paths. The new code will be effective for new and renovated homes on January 1, 2013. Ohio had not updated its residential building energy code since 2009, and the previous code was based on the 2006 IECC with substantially weaker alternative compliance paths.

    Among the changes, the new code will:

    • Raise the minimum insulation for exterior walls from R-13 to R-20, or R-13 plus a layer of insulating sheathing.
    • Raise the minimum R-value of basement walls from R-5 to R-10
    • Require that carbon-monoxide detectors be installed outside each bedroom in a home that uses gas or propane or includes an attached garage.
    • Require that at least 75 percent of light bulbs in new homes be high-efficiency, such as compact fluorescent bulbs.
    • Mandate that homes meet an air-tightness standard, which can be shown using a blower-door test, as required by one of the three compliance paths (not effective until January 2014)
    • Require that floor joists between the basement and first floor that are less than 10 inches deep include a gypsum or wood layer underneath for additional fire protection.
    • Increase the efficiency of windows by reducing the maximum U-value from .40 to .35.
    • Remove the requirement that sump pumps and garage door openers be plugged into GFCI outlets after homeowners complained that sump pumps and garage openers were kicking off. (Source:  BCAP Jan. 2013)


    At its meeting on May 26, 2017, the Board of Building Standards adopted updates to the Ohio Building, Plumbing and Mechanical Codes based on 2015 I-Codes effective November 1, 2017.

     The Board initiated the rule change process in October 2016 and the rules have been available in draft form on the Board’s website. 

    State-Owned/Funded Buildings

    Executive Order 2007-02S Under Executive Order 2007-005, all state agencies, boards and commissions were directed to conduct an energy audit for all owned and leased facilities by June 2007. Each entity covered by the order is required to reduce statewide energy use in their facilities by 5% during the next year, and 15% during the next four fiscal years based on the results of the audit. The order also contains provisions for reducing motor fuel use and creates the role of the Governor's Energy Adviser to coordinate state energy policy for state agencies, boards, and commissions. The order will remain in effect until it is rescinded or until Governor Strickland leaves office. On September 27, 2007, the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) passed Resolution #07-124, approving the incorporation of energy efficiency and sustainable design features into all future and some previously approved school projects. All K-12 public school projects approved by the OSFC are required to meet a minimum of LEED for Schools Silver certification, with strong encouragement to achieve the Gold level. There is additional emphasis on maximizing Energy & Atmosphere credits. The resolution directs OSFC to cover all LEED registration and certification fees and to provide a supplemental allowance to project budgets for the incorporation of sustainable, green strategies.

    Adoption Process

    Changes to the Ohio Building Code are proposed by the Board of Building Standards. The Board's powers and duties include adopting rules governing the construction, repair, and rehabilitation of buildings in the state; certifying municipal, township, and county building departments to administer the code; and establishing minimum standards for construction materials. Thus, the Board is the primary state agency authorized to protect the public's safety and welfare in building design and construction. The Division of State Fire Marshal, also in the Ohio Department of Commerce, promulgates the fire code. Rules proposed by the Board are filed with the Secretary of State, the Legislative Service Commission, and a committee of the General Assembly known as the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) at least 60 days prior to adoption. The JCARR reviews the rules to ensure that they do not exceed the scope of the agency's statutory authority, do not conflict with another rule of the same or a different agency, and are consistent with the legislature's intent. If acceptable, the rules go to public hearing at a time and place set by the agency in a public notice. The public notice must be issued at least 30 days prior to the hearing and must include a synopsis of the proposed rules. The hearing must be held within the 13th and 50th day after initial filing with the appropriate state agencies. The agency may adopt the rules consistent with the synopsis 61 days after initial filing. If, as a result of the public hearing, substantive changes are made that are inconsistent with the synopsis of the proposed rules, the rules must be refiled and a new hearing must be scheduled. However, if substantive changes are made that are consistent with the synopsis, the rules must be refiled and then undergo a 30-day review before the board can adopt them. Following adoption, the Board files the adopted rules with the appropriate state agencies. The JCARR then has authority to review the adopted rules under the same criteria used with the rules as proposed.

    Enforcement Process

    Building officials whose building department has been certified by the Board of Building Standards enforce the provisions of the Ohio Building Code for their jurisdiction. Plans must be submitted for all buildings within the scope of the code, as adopted by the state and local government. The jurisdiction is required to review and approve the plans and to perform inspections to determine if the work performed conforms with the approved plans. One-, two-, and three-family dwellings are reviewed by building departments only when they also have responsibility for one-, two-, and three-family dwelling plan review.

    Compliance Process

    Compliance is determined through plan review and inspection at the local level by the local certified building department. If there is no certified building department within a jurisdiction, the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Industrial Compliance reviews and approves plans for commercial construction. One-, two-, and three-family dwelling plans are not reviewed for MEC compliance at the state level.