Residential and Commercial > State Code Status: Virginia

State Code Status: VIRGINIA

Current Commercial Code

Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), 2012 Edition
Based on the 2012 IECC with state-specific amendments
passed 6/1/2014, effective 7/14/2014

✔ Can use COMcheck to show compliance.

The Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code adopts the suite of I-codes, replaces the Administrative chapter 1 in entirety, and provides for many technical state amendments to each chapter.

Current Residential Code

Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC), 2012 Edition
Based on the 2012 IECC with significant weakening amendments
passed 6/1/2014, effective 7/14/2014

2012 Virginia Energy Conservation Code

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Virginia climate zones

Climate Zone: 4A

Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Both regulatory and legislative.The Board of Housing and Community Development adopts and amends the USBC. The board bases the technical requirements of the USBC on nationally-accepted model codes and standards and makes as few amendments as possible. The board encourages anyone who believes that a technical amendment is needed to submit their proposal directly to the International Code Council (ICC). Amendments made by that organization will then be considered for inclusion in future editions of the USBC.

Code Change Cycle

Reviewed every three years. Please click here for more information on Virginia’s code change process, which will include several working groups over the course of 2016.

Next Code Update

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) plans to have the 2015 edition of the USBC effective by March 2018, pending any petitions received during the 30-day comment period following the publishing of the final regulations.

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July 14, 2014

The new statewide building code, the 2012 edition of the USBC, becomes effective. However, applicants may choose to utilize the 2009 USBC for a one-year period after the effective date.

March 2012

The Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development (BHCD) begins the code update process for the 2012 Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code based on the 2012 I-Codes, including the 2012 IECC and 2012 IgCC. The pertinent panel (Workgroup #2) will hold its first meeting August 23, with several more to follow in late 2012 and early 2013. The latest schedule calls for the Board to approve its final proposals in April or May 2013.

2012 Code Change Cycle Process

March 1, 2011

The 2009 USBC, updated to reference the 2009 IECC and 2009 IRC, becomes effective statewide. It previously referenced the 2006 versions of these codes. There will be a one-year phase-in period during which builders and designers can still use the older USBC version. Two-day energy code training is planned for 2011 in eight locations for 1,600 code enforcement officials, and similar training is planned for 2012 for 1,600 code enforcers, designers, builders and contractors. Compliance studies will be developed for late 2011 and early 2012.

July 26, 2010

After receiving public comments in March, the BHCD approves a proposed rule to update the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) to reference the 2009 IECC and 2009 IRC (it currently references the 2006 versions of these codes).

January 13, 2010

A bill (SB 109) is introduced to the Virginia State Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology Committee relating to the Green Public Buildings Act that would establish a mandatory statewide energy code for executive branch agencies and institutions for construction and renovation. SB 109 passes the Senate in February but dies in the House in March.

July 27, 2009

The BHCD meets to consider the recommendations of the Codes and Standards Subcommittee, which include proposals approved unanimously by the Committee that would update the state’s energy code (the Uniform Statewide Building Code, currently based on the 2006 IECC) to reference the 2009 IECC. The Board votes 9-2 in favor of adopting the recommendations. Work groups of interested parties will continue to consider issues and possible alternatives, options, trade-offs and compromises related to residential fire sprinklers.

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State Toolkit

This feature allows users to track progress towards goals of adoption, compliance, and implementation in their state. If you have any updates about strides that your state has made in any of the categories below, please contact BCAP.

The Virginia toolkit is currently under construction.



Sandi Morris
Virginia Building Code Academy Advisor
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Virginia Dept of Mines Minerals and Energy
Division of Energy
Energy Efficiency

Charles E. Altizer
State Fire Marshal
Virginia Dept of Fire Programs
State Fire Marshal’s Office


Lauren Westmoreland
Energy Codes Manager
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)

News and Events

DHCD Code Connection

BCAP Resources

Helpful Links

Basic Facts

Population: 8,382,993 (US Census Bureau, 2015)

Construction Activity:
New Privately Owned Housing Units Authorized by Permit Type (US Census Construction Statistics)

Year 2014 2015
Total Units 28,682 28,469
1 unit 18,834 19,865
2 units 150 86
3 or 4 units 181 169
5 or more units 9,517 8,349

CO2 Emissions:

Commercial buildings: 4.9 MMT
Residential buildings: 6.5 MMT
(EIA, 2015)

Energy data:

Primary energy source: Petroleum, 795 trillion BTU in 2012

Energy consumption: 2.4 quadrillion BTU in 2012

Energy expenditures: $35.1 billion in 2012

Energy snapshot: 53.2% of homes use electricity for heating, while 33.4% use natural gas.

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This page was last modified on: September 30, 2016