Georgia Building Codes

Current Commercial Code of Georgia

2018 Georgia State Minimum Standard Building Code, based on the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) with Georgia-specific amendments. Additionally, includes the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), referencing ASHRAE 90.1-2016 with Georgia-specific strengthening amendments.
Passed and effective as of January 1, 2020.

georgia building code

Current Residential Code

2018 Georgia State Minimum Standard Residential Code, based on the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) with Georgia-specific amendments. Additionally, includes the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), featuring mandatory blower door testing to ensure air tightness and energy efficiency, referencing ASHRAE 90.1-2016 with further strengthening amendments.

Passed and effective as of January 1, 2020.

Climate Zones: 2A, 3A, 4A


Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

A rulemaking process is used to adopt new codes and to change existing codes in Georgia. When a proposed code change is forwarded to the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), it is first reviewed by a task force consisting of engineers, architects, builders, and contractors. This task force evaluates the proposal and, if deemed appropriate, forwards it to the State Codes Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee further evaluates the proposal and submits it for public hearing. If approved, the proposal is adopted by the Board of Community Affairs for inclusion into the next edition of the code. The DCA is responsible for the final rulemaking.

Code Change Cycle

New editions of codes in Georgia are reviewed as soon as practicable after publication by the International Code Council. Supplements and amendments to the codes are updated annually to ensure that the state’s building codes remain current with the latest standards and practices.

Next Code Update

The next major update for Georgia’s building codes, based on the 2021 International Codes, is tentatively scheduled to become effective in 2024. This update will include the necessary supplements and amendments to ensure compliance with the latest safety and efficiency standards.

Previously, the DCA had decided that the state of Georgia should adopt the 2018 suite of I-codes in lieu of the 2015 codes. See A Statement on Codes from the DCA, page 1.


History

2024 Expected implementation of the 2021 International Codes across various domains, enhancing standards in safety, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. This includes updates to the International Building Code, Residential Code, Energy Conservation Code, and more.
January 1, 2011 The 2011 Georgia State Minimum Standard Energy Code becomes effective statewide. It is based on the 2009 IECC with 2011 Georgia Amendments (including mandatory blower door testing starting July 1, 2011) as a minimum (mandatory) code. The state also adopts the 2011 Georgia State Minimum Residential Green Building Standard, based on the 2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) with 2011 Georgia Amendments, as an optional code for one- and two-family dwellings. It is available for local government adoption and enforcement. Local governments choosing to enforce any permissive codes must adopt the code(s) they wish to enforce, as well as administrative procedures and penalties. This followed the July 29th recommendation of the State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) to approve the codes.
November 3, 2010 The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Board votes to give final approval to adopt the 2009 IECC with 2011 Georgia Amendments (including mandatory blower door testing) as a minimum code and the 2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) with 2011 Georgia Amendments as a permissive code. This follows the July 29th recommendation of the State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) to approve the codes and a public hearing on September 22nd in Atlanta.
April 2010 During deliberations on the state’s FY2011 budget, the Georgia Senate votes to remove all of the state’s appropriations for the Georgia Construction Codes and Industrialized Buildings Program. Funding of $218,821 had previously been recommended by the governor and approved in the House budget bill. BCAP and other energy efficiency advocates contact Georgia legislators to support full funding for the agency. House and Senate negotiators in the legislation’s conference committee restore full funding to the program in the final conference report, which was approved by the Legislature on April 29th. The codes program looks to continue its work developing an enhanced version of the 2009 IECC and a residential green building code.
April 4, 2008 The Georgia General Assembly passes Senate Bill 130, known as the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Construction Act of 2008. This Act directs the Department of Community Affairs to adopt policies and procedures as recommended standards for state-managed buildings, focusing on optimizing energy performance, increasing the demand for locally produced materials, and improving environmental quality.
January 1, 2008 The Georgia State Minimum Energy Code, updated to reference the 2006 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004 for commercial buildings and the 2006 IECC for residential buildings, becomes mandatory statewide.
July 1, 2004 The Uniform Codes Act is revised to make the following eight construction codes mandatory as the Georgia State Minimum Standard Codes: International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Fire Code, and National Electric Code.
January 1, 2003 The 2000 IECC with state amendments goes into effect; SHGC 0.40 requirements will be effective the following year. ASHRAE 90.1-2001 also becomes effective, although Chapter 8 of the 2000 IECC can be used as an alternative.
October 1, 1991 The Uniform Codes Act becomes effective in Georgia, marking a significant step in the standardization of building codes within the state.

Contacts

Eric Esposito
Construction Codes and Industrialized Buildings Consultant
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Email: eric.esposito@dca.ga.gov

Sareena Nagpal
Energy Codes Manager
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)
Email: snagpal@seealliance.org


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