Primary Contact for State Adoption

Cindy Davis
Deputy Director, Division of Building and Fire Regulation

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

600 East Main Street, Suite 1100
Richmond, VA 23219
United States

State Agency Office Head

Jeff Brown
Director of State Building Codes Office

United States

Regional Energy Efficiency Organization

Maggie Kelley Riggins
Built Environment Project Manager

Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)

United States

State Profile

Code Type: Commercial Residential
Current State Code 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2016 with amendments 2018 IECC with Amendments
Effective Date
Adoption Date
Enforcement Mandatory Statewide Mandatory Statewide
State Amendment Yes Yes
Can use COM/REScheck Yes


Commercial Residential
Current Model Code ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 2009 IECC
No No

State Code Analysis

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

VA Residential Amendments:

  • Table R402.1.2 - Change CZ4 ceiling insulation levels to R-38 and CZ4 wood frame wall requirement to R-15 or R-13+R-1.
  • Table R402.1.4 - Change CZ4 ceiling insulation levels to U-0.030 and CZ4 wood frame wall requirement to U-0.079. 
  • R402.2.4 – Attic hatches.  The change requires attic hatches, stairways, and doors to have R-5 insulation. 
  • Table R402.4.1.1 – This changes how shower/tubs exterior walls are too be sealed.  Not something we model.
  • R402.4.1.2 – adds a lot of detail on how to do air leakage testing. 
  • R402.4.1.3- Requires 5 ACH50 for air sealing.  The corresponding requirement in the 2015 IECC is 3 for climate zones 3 to 8.
  • R403.7 – equipment sizing – provides additional detail on sizing and guidance on oversizing in specific situations. 
  • R406.4 – ERI table – Sets requirements for ERI at 62 for CZ4.  The corresponding value in the 2015 IECC is 54.
  • R503.1.1.1 – Delete – This is related to replacement fenestration.

VA Commercial Amendments:

  • Table C402.2 - fenestration table reverted format to the 2012 IECC fenestration table which does not include specific requirements for SEW and N facing fenestration as in the 2018 IECC.  The values listed conform to the 2018 SEW values.
  • C402.4.3 and Table 402.4.3 - modification of requirement and new table, adds back in the projection factor (PF) multiplier for SHGC (similar to the 2012 IECC provision)
  • C403.2.4.3 (new exception) (no motorized damper on grease ducts on hoods)
  • C403.2.6.3 (new requirement) – Dwelling unit mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation shall be provided for dwelling units in accordance with the International Mechanical Code. This is a new requirement for dwelling units that is not in the 2015 IECC, but it is essentially the same requirement as found in Section C403.2.6 of the 2015 IECC for all occupancies.
  • C405.5 (modification) – exterior lighting.  The change exempts low-voltage landscape lighting from the exterior lighting requirements. 

Model Code Savings Potential

Statewide Savings Potential (2010-2030) Residential Commercial
Cost $1.46B $0.73B
Energy (primary) 136MBtu 101MBtu
Consumer Cost Savings Residential
per Home
per 1,000 ft2
Annual ($) $6 $87
Annual (%) 0.4%
Life-cycle (30 year) $102 $3450
Simple Payback 0.9 years 0.0 years
Positive Cash Flow 0.1 years


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


Additional Information

    Virginia adopted the USBC in 1973, a statewide building code based on the BOCA Basic Codes. The statewide requirements cannot be altered by local jurisdictions. Prior to 1973, local government was free to adopt codes. The current USBC adopts by reference the 2000 IECC for energy efficiency criteria, effective October 1, 2003.
    On October 1, 2005, the 2003 with reference to ASHRAE 90.1.2004 becamce effective.

    Effective May 1, 2008, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development updated the USBC per its three year code change cycle to coincide with the 2006 editions of the International Code Council model codes. The 2006 Virginia codes incorporate the customized text of the Virginia administrative and technical amendments within the base text of the ICC model codes. Each code discipline will consist of a single volume, inclusive of the Uniform Statewide Building Code amended language, with no need for separate USBC pamphlets that historically accompanied the ICC model codes for enforcement regulations in Virginia.

    The Codes and Standards Committee of the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development met on Monday, June 22 to review the 2009 I-Codes and code changes to make decisions on proposed building regulations. The Committee unanimously approved proposals that included updating the energy code to reference the 2009 IECC. The next meeting of the full Board is scheduled for Monday, July 27, for the consideration of proposed regulations for the Uniform Statewide Building Code. A 60-day comment period on the 2009 IRC and IECC is expected later this year. View the Virginia DHCD Calendar of Events for more information about these meetings.

    The 2009 USBC/IECC was approved July 27, 2010 and went into effect on March 1, 2011.

    The 2012 USBC/IECC was approved and adopted July 1, 2014 and goes into effect on July 1, 2015 with a one year interim period.

    The Board of Housing and Community Development adopts and amends the USBC. The board bases the technical requirements of the USBC on nationally-accepted model codes and standards and makes as few amendments as possible. The board encourages anyone who believes that a technical amendment is needed to submit their proposal directly to the International Code Council (ICC). Amendments made by that organization will then be considered for inclusion in future editions of the USBC. 

    Enforcement of the USBC is the responsibility of the local government’s building inspections department. The local governing body may charge fees to defray the costs of enforcement and appeals arising from the application of the code. The USBC contains enforcement procedures that must be used by the enforcing agency. An administrative appeals system exists to resolve disagreements that may occur between the enforcing agency and an aggrieved party before the State Building Code Technical Review Board

    Virginia Department of General Services serves as the building official.