Skip to main content

Rhode Island

State Profile

Code Type: Commercial Residential
Current State Code 2018 IECC and 90.1-2016 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 90.1-2010 2012 IECC
Yes Yes
Previous Model Code
ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007
Previous Model Code
2009 IECC

Model Code Savings Potential

Statewide Savings Potential (2010-2030) Residential Commercial
Cost $0.04B $0.10B
Energy (primary) 2MBtu 7MBtu

Consumer Cost Savings

Consumer Cost Savings Residential
per Home
per 1,000 ft2
Annual ($) $5 $156
Annual (%) 0.2%
Life-cycle (30 year) $94 $3820
Simple Payback 0.2 years 0.0 years
Positive Cash Flow 0.0 years


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

Additional Information

Rhode Island


    The Rhode Island Building Code Commission began forming in 1974. By 1977 the state of Rhode Island had adopted a statewide building code. Later, energy provisions were made part of the state building code modeled after the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) International, National Energy Conservation Code. In 1988 the state of Rhode Island amended the energy conservation requirements in the 1987 BOCA National Building Code (NBC) to modify the thermal requirements for residential and commercial buildings. In January 1992 the 1990 BOCA NBC was adopted as the Rhode Island state building code, also with state amendments.

    The state building code is currently based on the 1996 BOCA NBC and the 1996 National Mechanical Code, both with May 1, 1997, state amendments. Chapter 13 of the 1997 state building code referencing the 1995 MEC, which also has May 1, 1997 amendments, became effective May 1, 1997.

    On April 1, 1998, additional amendments to the state building code were adopted, including some minor revisions to the 1995 MEC and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989. These amendments mathematically changed U-values to R-values with no revision to energy efficiency.

    On January 1, 2009, the 2006 IECC became effective as the state energy conservation code. On May 14, 2009, Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcier signed HB 5986 into law, directing the Rhode Island State Building Commission to update the state building code to include the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and to develop a plan to achieve compliance in 90 percent of new and renovated building space by February 2017.

    Beginning August 2009, the Commission's Energy Subcommittee will review the codes, with public hearings and a comment period to follow. The new codes would then go before the State Legislature's Legislative Oversight Committee for final approval (tentatively hoped for during January or February 2010).

    After a period for training of code officials and other stakeholders, a tentative goal of July 2010 would be the effective date of the new state building code. Development of a plan to achieve 90 percent compliance would likely begin some time in this code cycle's 2nd year, or some time in 2011.

    On May 14, Gov. Donald Carcier signed HB 5986 updating the state building code to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The goal for the effective date of the new code is July 2010.

    A public hearing was held on May 15, 2013 and the 2012 IECC andASHRAE 90.1-2010 was voted and approved with minor amendments.  The code was adopted July 1, 2013.

    State-Owned/Funded Buildings

    The Rhode Island Green Buildings Act identifies the IGCC as an equivalent standard in compliance with requirements that all public agency major facility projects be designed and constructed as green buildings. The Rules and Regulations to implement the Act take effect in October 2010. The IGCC applies to new and existing, traditional and high-performance commercial buildings. It includes ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 as an alternative compliance requirement. Posted by Building Design and Construction. Any new, substantially expanded, or renovated building owned by the state, and state agencies, departments, offices, boards, commissions, or institutions of higher learning must meet LEED design, construction, operation and maintenance standards. Specifically, buildings must be designed to qualify for LEED Silver certification. The design, construction, operation, and maintenance of these buildings must also evaluate feasible energy efficiency measures on the basis of total life-cycle costs (Green Building Standards for State Facilities, 2005).

    Adoption Process

    The state building code is updated every three years. The Building Code Standards Committee adopts, promulgates, and administers the state building code.

    Enforcement Process

    The code official in local jurisdictions enforces the state building code. The State Building Commissioner enforces the code for all state buildings and buildings built on state-owned property.

    Compliance Process

    Compliance is determined through the building permit and inspection process by local building code officials and the State Building Commission.