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Ohio Adopts More Efficient Building Code

After more than four years of debates and compromises between advocates, builders, and other stakeholders, the state of Ohio has finally adopted a newer, more energy efficient residential building code. The new code will save both energy and money for the homeowners.

The new residential code joins the recently adopted commercial code. The adoption of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code means that Ohio has met the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act requirements. The state code will also include an alternative path that provides an equivalent level of energy savings to the IECC 2009. All new homes built to the new code will use 15% less energy than the existing code.

The new code will take effect on January 1, 2013.  With this adoption, Ohio will join the majority of US states for building energy codes. Some states have adopted the 2009 IECC without changes, but some have made modifications to the code to make them state-specific. Ohio fits into the latter group and made some modifications that made the code, according to home builders in the state, more stringent while not adding a significant amount of additional cost to building homes. Some smaller, less expensive changes include:

1)      Increasing basement insulation;

2)      More efficient windows;

3)      An air tightness requirement;

4)      Lower air leakage in ducts;

5)      More insulation in ceilings;

6)      Use of high efficacy lighting.

The newly adopted standards will allow Ohio to save more energy and reduce energy consumption, which will increase homeowner satisfaction and save homeowners money. By seeking consensus solutions on aspects of the building codes and putting the homeowners first, the stakeholders involved in the adoption process came up with a state building code that is not only fair, but will benefit the state and all those involved. More details about the new code are detailed in attached article from the Columbus Dispatch.