State Code Status: New Mexico

Current Commercial Code

2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC)
Based on the 2009 IECC with New Mexico amendments; ASHRAE 90.1-2010 is an acceptable compliance path through Chapter 5 of the 2009 IECC
Passed 6/10/2011, effective 1/1/2012

✔ Can use COMcheck to show compliance.

Current Residential Code

2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC)
Based on the 2009 IECC with New Mexico amendments
Passed 6/10/2011, effective 1/1/2012

NMECC Residential Applications Manual

✔ Can use REScheck to show compliance.

New Mexico climate zones

Climate Zones: 3B, 4B, 5B


Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Regulatory: The codes are adopted or amended by the Construction Industries Division of the Regulation and Licensing Department, on recommendation of the various trade bureaus that have been created under its auspices. As part of the process, the new code or code amendments are reviewed by the general construction technical advisory council and a code change committee. Once approved, comments are solicited at public hearings. The final version is prepared by Construction Industry Division staff and sent to the Construction Industry Commission. If approved, the changes are sent to archive and become effective after a thirty day waiting period.

Code Change Cycle

Generally reviewed at least every three years with the publication of the new editions of the model codes.

Next Code Update

Unknown


History

November 15, 2016

The New Mexico Construction Industries Division (CID) of the Regulation and Licensing Department publishes adopted rules for commercial and residential buildings in the state register. These rules update most of the state’s building codes to reference the 2015 suite of I-codes. However, all energy efficiency provisions in these updates still reference 14.7.6 NMAC, the 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code.

January 25, 2012

U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez in New Mexico rejects the city of Albuquerque’s attempt to pass a more stringent building code in favor of plaintiffs, who contended that the portions of the 2007 Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code are preempted by federal law.

Full article

January 1, 2012

The 2009 NMECC, based on the 2009 IECC, becomes the effective statewide code.

December 19, 2011

The Albuquerque City Council votes to roll back the city’s advanced energy code, which was intended to make the city a leader in energy conservation. This action will abandon the 2009 Interim Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code and instead use the statewide minimum energy code. It was estimated the local code would have achieved 5 to 19 percent energy savings beyond the state code through more stringent requirements for insulation, windows, and lighting.

Summer 2011

On June 10th, after public comment hearings around the state as required by statute, the Construction Industries Commission (CIC) repeals the original version of the 2009 New Mexico Energy Conservation Code (NMECC) and other construction codes that the Commission had adopted in 2010. CIC had originally adopted a 2009 NMECC version containing strengthening amendments to the 2009 IECC that achieved greater energy savings, roughly 20% beyond the 2006 IECC. However, in early 2011, the NMECC was subject to administrative rollback attempts and an ultimately successful advocate legal challenge. The state spent several months conducting activities to implement the advanced code, including providing training in 14 cities and free code books through PNNL and ICC. On July 11th, SWEEP and other parties file an appeal asking the New Mexico Court of Appeals to reverse the Commission’s June 10 decision to repeal the advanced 2009 NMECC and other construction codes.

On April 22, 2011, the Commission gives initial approval to proposed changes to the NMECC that would revert the code back to the base 2009 IECC code. The previous version of the NMECC – based on the 2006 IECC – goes back in effect for nearly six months.

Per its publication in the February 14th New Mexico Public Register, the 2009 NMECC becomes effective on January 28th, though the Construction Industries Division (CID) will not fully enforce the code until July 1st, as part of its original intent for a six-month transition period where either the new code or the previous code could be used through June 30th.

January – February 2011

Governor Susana Martinez issues an executive order freezing the implementation of the 2009 NMECC, which had been set for that date, for 90 days. Executive Order 2011-001 suspends all proposed and pending regulations from taking effect, subject to the review of a “small business task force to identify red-tape regulations that are harmful to business growth and job creation.”

On January 18th, the Sierra Club asks the New Mexico Supreme Court to require Governor Susana Martinez, the New Mexico State Records Administrator and the Acting Director of the Construction Industries Division (CID), to print new cost-saving building codes in the New Mexico State Register. The lawsuit asks the court to reverse the cancellation, prohibit the governor from interfering with rule filings and publication, and compel her to comply with the law.

On February 1st, the Sierra Club agrees to drop its lawsuit against the administration of Governor Martinez in exchange for her agreeing to publish rules updating 13 state building codes, including the 2009 NMECC. The eventual agreement follows two Supreme Court decisions ruling the Governor had exceeded her authority to cancel other sets of new environmental rules.

May 14, 2010

The Construction Industries Commission (CIC) recommends a set of proposed code amendments that would make the 2009 NMECC approximately 20% more stringent than the 2006 IECC (the residential and commercial portions of the 2009 IECC are about 13-15% and 5% above the 2006 IECC, respectively). The amendments to the 2009 IECC include stronger prescriptive values for fenestration U-factors and R-values for ceilings, wood frame walls, and mass walls. The compliance option using ASHRAE Standard 90.1 has also been removed. The CIC approves the 2009 NMECC with amendments in July 2010.

March 8, 2010

Governor Bill Richardson signs SB 200 into law. This bill creates a new section of law providing for energy efficiency standards for public buildings. New buildings greater than 3,000 square feet and renovations that add at least 3,000 square feet must meet an energy performance standard of 50% or less of the national average for that type of building. These public buildings must also attain Energy Star certification and conduct energy inventories to attain an energy goal determined by Target Finder. The Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department will be responsible for enforcement.

August 3, 2009

The Albuquerque City Council approves Ordinance 09-85, establishing a new local energy code that will go into effect December 1, 2009 should the city’s mayor sign the legislation. The 2009 Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code is based on the 2006 IECC but also contains several amendments that are more stringent than corresponding sections of the 2009 IECC, including testing for air filtration and duct leakage.

The residential code advances the 2006 IECC by allowing:

  • New Mexico Build Green Silver or LEED-Silver homes to be deemed to qualify
  • Adds air infiltration testing 6.0 ACH50 (exceeds 2009 IECC)
  • Adds duct leakage testing 4.0 CFM @ 25
  • If ducts are in conditioned space and not tested air infiltration rate for house drops to 3.0 ACH50
  • Adds requirement to use the thermal bypass checklist
  • Adds SHGC requirement, 0.40
  • Increases wall insulation to R-21/13+7.5
  • Increase floor insulation to R-21
  • Adds roof reflectance requirement
  • Adds ventilation fan requirements
  • Adds ENERGY STAR labeled light fixtures
  • Homes using performance path must be 30% more efficient than baseline 2006 IECC
January 1, 2008

The 2006 NMECC, based on the 2006 IECC with New Mexico amendments, goes into effect with a six-month grace period. Commercial buildings are exempt and must comply with ASHRAE 90.1-2004.

July 1, 2004

The 2003 IECC becomes effective.

2004

New Mexico passes a bill establishing a tax credit for green homes. In order to qualify, homes have to achieve a HERS rating of 60, which means that it will have to be 40 percent more energy efficient than a reference home built according to the current code. Additionally, a qualified home has to achieve either a LEED for Homes Silver certification or a Build Green NM Gold certification. The tax credit amount depends on the home’s energy performance and sustainability rating.

1978

The New Mexico Construction Licensing Act establishes requirements for all building trades contractors to be licensed and certified to ensure that compliance with the state codes is, to the maximum extent possible, uniform in application, procedure, and enforcement. This Act has been updated periodically since 1978. The state energy code contains statewide mandatory minimum requirements that local jurisdictions must adopt and enforce.

 


Contacts

Martin Romero
General Construction Bureau Chief CBO
Regulation and Licensing Department
Construction Industries and Manufactured Housing

Email: martin.romero@state.nm.us

Jeremy Lewis
Program Development and Management Bureau Chief
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department
Email: jeremy.lewis@state.nm.us

Ken Hughes
Clean Energy Program Manager
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department
Email: ken.hughes@state.nm.us

Jim Meyers
Director, Buildings Efficiency Program
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Email: jmeyers@swenergy.org

Christine Brinker
Senior Associate, Buildings Efficiency Program
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Email: cbrinker@swenergy.org


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