Virginia Adopts 2009 Building Code


On March 1, 2011, the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) update to reference the 2009 IECC and 2009 IRC became effective statewide (it currently references the 2006 versions of these codes). There will be a one-year phase-in period during which builders and designers can still use the current USBC version. Two-day energy code training is planned for 2011 in eight locations for 1,600 code enforcement officials, and similar training is planned for 2012 for 1,600 code enforcers, designers, builders and contractors. Compliance studies will be developed for late 2011 and early 2012.
According to the Building Code Assistance Project (BCAP), if Virginia began implementing the 2009 IECC and Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in 2011, businesses and homeowners would save an estimated $128 million annually by 2020 and $256 million annually by 2030 in energy costs (assuming 2006 prices).
Additionally, implementing the latest model codes would help avoid about 31 trillion Btu of primary annual energy use by 2030 and annual emissions of about 2.2 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030.
A 2010 BCAP analysis indicates that the weighted average incremental construction cost of upgrading to the 2009 IECC in Virginia would be $582.07 per home. On average, the annual energy savings per home would be $225.00, meaning the simple payback for homeowners would occur, on average, in 2.59years. These estimates are conservative and represent the upper bound on incremental cost.
In November 2010, the 2012 International Energy Efficiency Code was adopted at the national level by building officials from across the nation. This energy code for new residential and commercial buildings will increase energy efficiency by 30 percent. The new IEEC codes must now go through the three year review process before it can be adopted in Virginia.
For information from BCAP regarding Virginia codes: http://bcap-ocean.org/state-country/virginia
For Commonwealth of Virginia Energy Conservation Code information: http://www.ecodes.biz/ecodes_support/Free_Resources/Virginia2009/09Energy/09Energy_main.html

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