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2012 Residential Construction Codes Remain in Effect Until July 1, 2016

Every three years, new 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) will change July 1, 2016.

The 2012 International Residential Code (IRC) remains in effect until July 1, 2016.

The 2015 Codes Rulemaking Update

The SBCC has adopted the 2015 editions of the IBC, IRC, IFC and UPC with state amendments; and the 2015 Washington State Energy Code. The 2015 codes are effective on July 1, 2016. Click the links below to view the amendments for each 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.

  • 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.

View the detailed report of Washington's carbon monoxide alarm laws here.

  Al Audette
Government Affairs and Codes Coordinator
Email Al
360-352-7800, ext. 163