Latest News

BIAW Needs Your Help Advocating for Building Codes that Support Builders

August 13, 2022

Building Industry Association of Washington’s Policy and Research Manager, Andrea Smith, needs your help advocating for the 2023 building code development.


The Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) code change proposals that made it through the first part of the process are moving onto the last stage of code development, which is the public hearing process.

We need your help to weigh in on the:

  • Residential energy code
  • Residential building code (IRC).

We specifically need your help in:

  • Determining the need to mandate pre-wiring for electric vehicle (EV) chargers; and
  • Estimating how much building code compliance adds to the cost of building a house.

While many disagree about the requirements and specifications of these codes, we also question:

  • If the SBCC even has the authority to oversee electrical codes, as L&I handles electrical codes; and
  • If some of these code requirements are even necessary.

Should pre-wiring for EV chargers be mandatory?

Up until this point, pre-wiring for an electric vehicle has been a voluntary addition as requested by the homeowner. The proposed code will require that builders wire all new homes for EV chargers—even if the homeowner prefers to install one in the future.

The proposal is consistent with the Legislature’s recent goal to phase out new gas-powered cars in Washington by 2030.

As of now, builders can evaluate the individual home specs, client needs and other factors to determine if the wiring for EV chargers is an option worth pursuing.  This survey will help us better understand how many of our members are electively pre-wiring for EV chargers, making the code mandate unnecessary.

Energy Code costs

As the industry now has a cycle under its belt with the new energy code, we would like to gauge its impact on the cost of homes being built.

While many additional factors go into the cost of building a home, having estimates/ballpark figures will be tremendously helpful in determining how much was added in the last code and then including that in calculations to determine what the following code cycle will add.

Building Code survey

Every member who provides their feedback on the survey helps BIAW see the building codes’ impact so we can advocate for you at the code council, with our legislators and in the media.

Our voice is stronger with your numbers behind us.

Please take the time to fill out the quick, six-question survey and reach out to Andrea Smith ( with any additional comments or information you would like to provide.

Return to blog