2012 Code Adoption Process: Update
The Draft Rulemaking Documents for Washington's proposed new codes were approved by the State Building Code Council (SBCC)
and submitted to the Code Reviser by August 1st as required.
Meetings to hear public comment are scheduled on September 14 at the Spokane Valley Center Place and September 21 at the
DES Building in Olympia. This is generally considered the last chance to show support, opposition or voice concerns over
any of the proposed code changes before the SBCC adopts the final version. In addition to attending one of the Public
Hearings, anyone can provide written testimony at any time to the SBCC.
The two codes of most interest to residential construction and BIAW members are highlighted below.
2012 International Residential Code:
The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) reviewed nearly 100 changes made by the
International Code Council (ICC) to the 2012 model code and found the significant changes clarified and improved the
code. View the most notable TAG Code changes here. The TAG also reviewed 49 existing state amendments to the IRC and retained 13, modified 13, deleted 7 and referred 16 for further review. The TAG received 10 proposals for new
statewide amendments - approved 7 and denied 2. Click here for their report. The TAG also reported on the ecomonic impact of the proposed amendments.
2012 Washington Energy Code --
The premise is to adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
in place of the current Washington State Energy Code. To that end, the Energy Code TAG spent considerable time reviewing
the two documents and then mashing them together to create the draft energy code document. The initial changes where the
2012 IECC requirements are above the current code are summarized here and here where the WSEC had the higher standards.
The next step was reviewing all of the submitted statewide amendments and analyzing whether or not they should be included
in the new code. The economic impact matrix can be viewed here , and you can view the final proposed residential energy code here. If you're interested in the commercial side of the energy code you can view a similar 'mark-up' version on the SBCC website via this link.
After the public hearings, the SBCC holds a work session to review verbal and written testimony and receive clarification
on any issue as they feel necessary. The SBCC must make the final decision on adoption by December 1. The amendments
cannot take effect before 90 days following the end of the next regular legislative session, typically July 1st.
2009 International Residential Code
Many of the changes to the IRC are clarification or to simplify code language. For additional reference, the full 30+ page matrix detailing every revision, deletion and addition from the 2006 IRC to the 2009 IRC.
2009 Washington State Amendments to the IRC, click here to view and/or print the amendments.
(corrected copy June 23, 2010 with changes to pages 62, 70, 108, 167, 345)
2009 Washington State Energy Code
To view the current Washington State Energy Code Click here
Local Residential Amendments
To see a list of Local Residential Amendments submitted for review by jurisdiction and action taken by the
State Building Code Council.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The requirement for mandatory Carbon Monoxide alarms for all new construction have been in place since January 1, 2011, as adopted by the State Building Code Council (SBCC) as part of the 2009 code cycle.
Adoption of rules by the SBCC effecting carbon monoxide alarms in existing residential buildings were initially deferred but are now in place as follows:
- As of April 1, 2012 when a permit is issued for an alteration, repair, addition or creation of additional sleeping rooms, the installation of a carbon monoxide alarm will be required.
- Code requires the seller of any owner-occupied single-family residence sold on or after June 26, 2009 to equip the residence with carbon monoxide alarms. A new law will go into effect June 7, 2012, which requires amendments to the seller's disclosure forms in purchase and sale agreements, to ensure that the responsibility for placement of carbon monoxide alarms is that of the seller.
- As of January 1, 2013 ALL buildings that are classified as residential occupancies (including rentals homes, duplexes, apartments, etc.) must be equipped with carbon monoxide alarms, with the exception of owner-occupied single-family residences occupied before July 26, 2009.
Click here for more information on requirements and implementation.