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State Profile

Code Type: Commercial Residential
Current State Code 2018 IECC and 90.1-2016 2018 IECC
Effective Date
Adoption Date
State Amendments Yes No
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 $0.83B $0.76B
Energy (primary) 60MBtu 84MBtu

Consumer Cost Savings

Consumer Cost Savings Residential
per Home
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


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

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.
    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.
    Effective December 31, 2009, the International Codes 2009 were adopted and enforced throughout Pennsylvania.
    For the ICC 2012, the RAC chose not to adopt any of the 2012 ICC codes.
    For the ICC 2015 review cycle, they chose to adopt only 16 provisions of the ICC Codes, but the PA Legislature under Act 36 of 2017 required the RAC to review all of the 2015 ICC as they had not. Subsequently, the 2015 IECC was adopted but with significant amendments.  
    The revised regulations adopting the 2018 I Code series as reviewed and amended by the Review and Advisory Council (RAC) have an effective date of February 14, 2022.
    The UCC has allowed residential builders to choose the Pennsylvania Alternative Residential Energy Provisions (PA-Alt). Versions of this were published in 2003, 2006, 2015 and 2018. Most were intended to be easier to use than the IRC and IECC and meet the provisions of the next IECC codes (such as in 2006, it was intended to be equivalent of 2009 IECC). When the 2018 codes were reviewed and portions passed, provisions allow residential builders to choose between the prescriptive path in the IECC or select the PA Alternative Residential Energy Provisions that require implementation of enhancement options contained within.

    State-Owned/Funded Buildings

    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.

    Adoption Process

    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.

    Enforcement Process

    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.

    Compliance Process

    The PA Uniform Construction Code applies to the construction, alteration, repair, movement, equipment, removal, demolition, location, maintenance, occupancy or change of occupancy of every building or structure which occurs on or after April 9, 2004, and all existing structures that are not legally occupied. Compliance with the published UCC is required by designers, builders and contractors on all residential and commercial buildings requiring a permit for new construction, certain additions and/or major renovation.  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."