Building Codes. The greatest opportunity to make buildings more efficient is during the construc 
tion phase. Many efficiency options are lost if they are not built into the original design. By requiring new
buildings to achieve at least a minimum level of energy efficiency, building codes reduce these lost
opportunities. The inclusion of energy efficiency requirements in building codes began in the 1970s and
has become widespread since then. Because buildings codes are implemented by states and localities,
the codes vary considerably across the country. While substantial progress has been made over the past
decade, opportunities to strengthen code requirements and compliance remain. As shown in Figure 14,
Figure 14
Residential Energy Code Status  
as of May 2004
* 
* 
* 
* 
* 
+
* 
* 
Mandatory statewide code including state owned buildings
2003 IECC or IRC
1995 MEC or equivalent state code (partial adoption)
+
2003 IECC or IRC or equivalent state code
1993 MEC or equivalent state code
1998 IECC
1992 MEC or equivalent state code
1995 MEC or equivalent state code
No code or code not EPAct compliant
IECC: International Energy Conservation Code 
IRC: International Residential Code
MEC: Model Energy Code
* Code implementation depends upon voluntary adoption by local jurisdictions.   
  90.1 Mandatory for state owned residential buildings three stories or less in height.
NOTE: This map should be used in conjunction with BCAP's Status of the State newsletter. 
Go to bcap energy.org to view current newsletter.
46
Source: The Business Council for Sustainable Energy. 2004. Energy at the State Level. Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Washington, DC.
+
Towards a Climate Friendly  
Built Environment
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