Pennsylvania

Primary Contact for State Adoption

Joseph Marchioni
UCC Administrator, Bureau of Occupational & Industrial Safety

Department of Labor and Industry

651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17121
United States

jmarchioni@pa.gov

Secondary Contact for State Adoption

Edward Leister
Director, Department of Labor and Industry

Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety

651 Boas Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0750
United States

eleister@state.pa.us

Regional Energy Efficiency Organization

Darren Port
Building Energy Code Manager

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP)

United States

dport@neep.org

State Profile

Code Type: Commercial Residential
Current State Code 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 2015 IECC with Amendments
Effective Date
Adoption Date
Enforcement Mandatory Statewide Mandatory Statewide
State Amendment Yes Yes
Can use COM/REScheck Yes Yes

Certifications

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

State Code Analysis

Code Type: Residential Commercial
Energy Efficiency
State Amendment Yes Yes
Amendment Summary

The ''International Energy Conservation Code of 2015[.]'' [The following portions of the International Energy Conservation Code of 2015 are adopted] except that:

 [(i) Section R202 only to the extent that this section contains the definition of ''insulated siding.''

 (ii) Section R402.2.4 (relating to access hatches and doors).

 (iii) Section R402.2.8 (relating to floors).

 (iv) Table R402.4.1.1 only to the extent the row for ''floors'' was amended.

 (v) Section 402.1.3 (relating to r-value computation).]

 (i) The following provisions are excluded:

 (A) Section R102.1.1 (relating to above code programs).

 (B) Section C104.2.6 (relating to final inspection).

 (C) Section R403.3.5 (relating to building cavities (mandatory)).

 (D) Section R403.5.2 (relating to demand recirculation systems).

 (E) Table R406.4 (relating to maximum energy rating index).

 (F) Section C408.2.4 (relating to preliminary commissioning report).

 (ii) The following provisions are modified:

 (A) Chapter RE 2 is amended by adding the definition of ''framing factor'' as the fraction of the total building component area that is structural framing.

 (B) Table R402.1.2 (relating to insulation and fenestration requirements by component) is amended by adding ''or 18 + 6.5H'' to climate zone 6 wood frame wall R-value.

 (C) Table R402.1.2 (relating to insulation and fenestration requirements by components) is amended by adding footnote j which permits R-18 insulation to be permitted in place of R-20 requirement provided the wall framing factor is 20% or less or exterior walls with 24" o.c. nominal vertical stud spacing.

(D) Section R402.4.1.2 (relating to testing) is amended as having an air leakage rate not exceeding five air changes per hour for all climate zones.

 (E) Section R405.2 (relating to mandatory requirements) is amended to require compliance with the mandatory provisions of section R402.4.1.2.

 (iii) The following provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code of 2009 are adopted:

 (A) Section 102.1.1 (relating to above code programs).

 (B) Section 104.3 (relating to final inspection).

 (C) Section 403.2.3 (relating to building cavities).

 (iv) The following provisions of the International Energy Conservation Code of 2018 are adopted:

 (A) Section R403.3.6 (relating to ducts buried within ceiling insulation).

 (B) Section R403.3.7 (relating to ducts located in conditioned space).

 (C) Table R406.4 including footnote ''a'' (relating to maximum energy rating index).

 

 The RAC voted to adopt the IEBC in its entirety except that it voted to modify Section 101.2 (relating to scope) to add an exception for detached residential buildings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress and their accessory structures to comply with either the IEBC of 2015 or the IRC of 2015. As such, the Department is amending paragraph (a)(10) to incorporate the IEBC of 2015 with the exception regarding detached residential buildings and townhouses no more than three stories above grade plane in height with a separate means of egress. In addition, the Department is deleting subparagraphs (a)(10)(i) and (ii), which are now redundant because these clauses represented a previous decision to adopt portions of the IEBC of 2015 and are now incorporated in the main body of paragraph (a)(10).

A permit applicant may utilize one of the following prescriptive methods to demonstrate compliance with the energy conservation requirements of the Uniform Construction Code. The standards are those listed for the climatic zone of this Commonwealth where the building or structure is located:

 (1) The prescriptive methods for detached residential buildings contained in the [current version of the] ''International Energy Conservation Code of 2015'' compliance guide containing State maps, prescriptive energy packages and related software published by the United States Department of Energy, Building Standards and Guidelines Program (REScheckTM) or ''Pennsylvania's Alternative Residential Energy Provisions.''

The UCC regulations provide for the use of an alternative to Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code (or Chapter 4 (RE) of the International Energy Conservation Code), to demonstrate compliance with the energy conservation requirements of the UCC. This alternative compliance path, which can be obtained by clicking on the link below, was developed by the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center at Penn State University and is entitled "Pennsylvania Alternative Energy Provisions" .

The RAC voted to adopt the IECC of 2015 in its entirety except: Section C104.2.6 (relating to final inspection); and Section C408.2.4 (relating to preliminary commissioning report).  

Model Code Savings Potential

Statewide Savings Potential (2010-2030) Residential Commercial
Cost $0.83B $0.76B
Energy (primary) 60MBtu 84MBtu
Consumer Cost Savings Residential
per Home
Commercial
per 1,000 ft2
Annual ($) $556 $130
Annual (%) 22.2%
Life-cycle (30 year) $8125 $2750
Simple Payback 3.3 years 0.0 years
Positive Cash Flow 0.5 years

Compliance

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

Resources

Additional Information

    The Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (Act 45 of 1999) established a State building code, the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), that must be complied with in all Pennsylvania jurisdictions.

    The PA UCC first took effect on April 9, 2004 with the adoption and use of the ICC's International Codes 2003.

    Effective December 31, 2006, the International Codes 2006 were adopted and enforced throughout Pennsylvania.

    Effective December 31, 2009, the International Codes 2009 were adopted and enforced throughout Pennsylvania.

    Currently, the UCC allows builders the choice between a number of compliance paths for residential construction. Builders may choose the 2009 IECC, the 2009 IRC (Chapter 11) or the 2009 Pennsylvania Alternative Residential Energy Provisions (PA-Alt). The PA-Alt is intended to be easier to use, an alternative to the 2006 IRC, and equivalent to the 2009 IECC. Previous versions of the PA-Alt were published in 2003 and 2006.

    In Act 106 of 2008, the General Assembly established the RAC whose members represent industry sectors that participate in the various aspects relating to building construction including building component design, construction, building code enforcement and local government representation. The RAC is charged to review the periodic changes to the revised ICC codes prior to adoption into the UCC. See 35 P.S. § 7210.107.

    Three years ago, for the 2015 review cycle, the RAC decided only to adopt 16 provisions in all the 2015 ICC codes. This was subsequent to the RAC's 2012 decision to not adopt any portion of the 2012 ICC codes. As a result, the legislature amended the adoption procedure. Act 36 of 2017 directed the RAC to conduct a complete review of the 2015 ICC codes, disregarding the RAC's previous action on the 2015 Codes. 35 P.S. § 7210.108(a)(1)(i). For this review, the RAC was required to hold only one public meeting, 35 P.S. § 7210.108(a)(1)(ii)(B), with a 30-day public comment period. 35 P.S. § 7210.108(a)(1)(ii)(A). The RAC was also permitted to rely on the technical analysis of the 2015 edition of the ICC codes performed during the previous review of the 2015 codes. 35 P.S. § 7210.108(a)(1)(ii)(D). If the 2015 ICC Codes updated the 2012 ICC Code provisions, then the RAC was free to consider those updated provisions. However, the RAC was to review any sections of the 2015 ICC codes that did not update the 2012 ICC sections only if two-thirds of the RAC determined a review to be necessary. 35 P.S. § 7210.108(a)(1)(iii).

    For the 2015 code review, the RAC was required to submit a report to the Secretary of Labor and Industry outlining the ICC codes that the RAC was adopting or modifying. 35 P.S. § 7210.108(b). The recommendations of the RAC must be adopted by the Department ''without change,'' 35 P.S. § 7210.304(a)(1), and are to be effective on October 1, 2018. 35 P.S. § 7210.108(a)(1)(i)(B).

     After its review of the 2015 ICC codes was complete, the RAC submitted its report to the Secretary on May 1, 2018, outlining 37 different recommendations. On June 12, 2018, and July 23, 2018, the RAC submitted amended reports. Under section 304(a)(1) of the act the Department is required to promulgate final-omitted regulations adopting, ''without change'' the provisions of the ICC Codes outlined in the RAC's July 23, 2018, amended report. 35 P.S. § 7210.304(a)(1).

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry is responsible for enforcement of energy code requirements (and all other building code requirements) in all State-owned buildings, no matter where they are located. State-funded buildings that are not owned by the State are approved for energy compliance by all municipalities that have elected to administer and enforce the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) or, where municipalities have elected not to enforce the UCC, by the Department (commercial construction) and certified third-party agencies (residential construction) hired by the residential property owner.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has the authority and responsibility to promulgate and upgrade commercial and residential energy standards, respectively, every three years, through the state's regulatory process. The code modification process does not involve public meetings, if the regulatory changes proposed only entail the adoption of the latest versions of the ICC International Codes.

    Municipalities are intended to be the primary enforcement agents of energy and other building code requirements, but they are allowed to opt out of this responsibility.

    As of January 1, 2011, 2,396 (94.5%) municipalities have elected to administer and enforce the UCC (are "opt-ins") and 166 (5.5%) have elected not to administer and enforce the UCC (are "opt-outs").

    Opt-in municipalities may enforce the UCC in a variety of ways. They may employ their own code officials. They may retain one or more third-party agencies to enforce the UCC on their behalf. They may utilize an inter-municipal agreement that allows multiple municipalities to provide code enforcement services through a single agency. And, they may contract with a neighboring municipality to utilize its code enforcement officers.

    In opt-out municipalities, the Department of Labor & Industry performs all commercial code enforcement; certified third-party agencies hired by individual property owners perform residential code enforcement.

    In addition to the compliance paths in the 2015 IECC, REScheck and COMcheck are acceptable methods of compliance. For residential buildings, use of the prescriptive Alternative Residential Energy Provisions published by the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center is allowed.