Monday, July 16, 2012

Ohio Adopts 2009 IECC Residential Code

On May 28, the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) has updated the Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) to reference the 2009 IECC with two state-developed alternative compliance paths. The new code will be effective for new and renovated homes in January 2013. Ohio has not updated its residential building energy code since 2009, and the previous code was based on the 2006 IECC with substantially weaker alternative compliance paths.

Among the changes, the new code will:
  • Raise the minimum insulation for exterior walls from R-13 to R-20, or R-13 plus a layer of insulating sheathing.
  • Raise the minimum R-value of basement walls from R-5 to R-10
  • Require that carbon-monoxide detectors be installed outside each bedroom in a home that uses gas or propane or includes an attached garage.
  • Require that at least 75 percent of light bulbs in new homes be high-efficiency, such as compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Mandate that homes meet an air-tightness standard that includes a blower-door test.
  • Require that floor joists between the basement and first floor that are less than 10 inches deep include a gypsum or wood layer underneath for additional fire protection.
  • Increase the efficiency of windows by reducing the maximum U-value from .40 to .35.
  • Remove the requirement that sump pumps and garage door openers be plugged into GFCI outlets after homeowners complained that sump pumps and garage openers were kicking off.

BBS previously updated the Ohio Building Code (OBC) for nonresidential construction to reference the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as compliances paths in November 2011.