2012 Residential Construction Codes
Every three years updated model construction codes are published through the International Code Council (ICC).
The State Building Code Council (SBCC), with the assistance of their Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs), adopt
those applicable to our state. The TAGs also review all existing and proposed statewide amendments, as well
as any changes in the new editions of the model codes and report to the SBCC for inclusion in Washington’s adopted
version. The process continues with public hearings and testimony on the proposed code adoption and changes and ends
with the Council adopting the amended code by December 1st. The revised codes cannot take effect before the end of
the regular legislative session and typically have an effective date of July 1 which is exactly what happened again this year.
The 2012 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC) is where you will find the most changes including a new layout and new terminology.
The 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) likewise, contains many somewhat significant revisions but several have
been mitigated or revised by Washington amendments. BIAW has posted this information below for easy reference. BIAW offered
THE class devoted specifically to changes effective July 1st when the 2012 IRC and the updated Washington Energy Code took effect.
The workshop provided a great deal of information about the significant changes to the IRC and WSEC from expert instructors and
local code officials. It also covered some of the applicable changes to Washington’s residential electrical and plumbing codes.
Click here to view the presentation in PDF format.
2012 International Residential Code
Many of the changes to the IRC are for clarification or to simplify code language. For additional reference, consult the complete 29-page
matrix detailing every revision, deletion and addition from the 2009 IRC to the 2012 IRC below.
To view the 2009 to 2012 IRC comparison click here.
BIAW/NAHB members can receive a discount if you order the 2012 IRC Code Book
through Builder Books, the publishing arm of NAHB.
Click here to view the Washington State amendments to the 2012 IRC.
2012 Washington State Energy Code
Click here to view the current Washington State Energy Code.
Click here to view a list of the changes from the
2009 to 2012 Washington State Energy Code.
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 SBCC as part of the 2009 code cycle.
Click here to view a detailed report of Washington's
carbon monoxide alarm laws.
- 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 is 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. In June 2012, a law went into effect that requires
amendments to 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.