Maine Building Codes

Maine Building Codes encompasses technical building codes are a comprehensive set of laws and regulations governing various aspects of life in the state of Maine. These codes cover areas like transportation, education, environmental protection, and labor practices, shaping the legal landscape and providing guidelines for citizens, businesses, and government agencies. Understanding and adhering to Maine State Codes is essential for individuals and organizations to navigate the legal framework of the state effectively.

maine state code

Current Commercial Code

Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC), based on the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
Passed in 2016, effective as of January 23, 2018.

Current Residential Code

Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC), based on the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
Passed in 2016, effective as of January 23, 2018.

Certainly! Here’s the updated information reflecting the current context following standards and regulations regarding the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC):


As of January 2021, all municipalities in Maine with a population of 4,000 or more are required to enforce the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC), regardless of whether they had adopted any building code prior to August 2008. This requirement is in place to ensure statewide uniformity in building standards, particularly focusing on safety, energy efficiency, public safety, and environmental sustainability.

MUBEC is an energy standard based on the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), ensuring that all buildings adhere to contemporary construction and energy standards. Municipalities with fewer than 4,000 residents have the option to adopt MUBEC or alternative codes that meet or exceed the stipulations of the adopted MUBEC, allowing for flexibility based on local needs and resources.

As of the latest data in 2021, approximately 68% of Maine’s population resides in municipalities with a population of 4,000 or more, reflecting a trend of increasing urbanization and the importance of maintaining consistent and modern building regulations for buildings across the state.

Climate Zones: 6A, 7


Maine Building Codes: Code Adoption and Change Process

Energy Code Change Process

Code adoptions and amendments originate from the Maine Technical Codes and Standards Board (TCSB), which is part of the Department of Public Safety. The TCSB issues draft and final rules through their ordinary rulemaking process, which includes public comment. The rule also must be approved by the Attorney Generals’ office to ensure legal and procedural compliance. The law requires the TCSB to maintain an adoption cycle following the model codes used, such that codes do not lapse more than 5 years following codes, or one national model code version cycle. Additionally, the Bureau of Building Codes and Standards provides essential administrative and technical support to the TCSB, facilitating the code change process by offering non-binding technical interpretations of the codes for professionals and the public.

Building and Energy Code Change Cycle

For its commercial energy code, Maine considers the most recent version of 90.1 with positive DOE determination. The energy standard considered includes the latest energy codes that ensure efficiency and sustainability, encompassing regulations such as the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) which adopts and enforces standards for following standards and codes like the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

Next Code Update

The Technical Codes and Standards Board is currently working on the adoption of the 2015 IECC international existing building code for commercial buildings. The 2009 IECC will continue to apply to residential buildings. As of February 2017, the board is waiting for a return of Rules for Rule-Making from the Governor’s Office and will have a Public Hearing as soon as they receive them back. Additionally, the adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code as part of the next building code update will enhance energy efficiency in buildings, aligning with the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) based on the 2015 IECC to promote safety, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability.


History

2021 Updates continue in Maine’s adoption of building codes to ensure statewide uniformity in building standards with the focus on safety, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Most municipalities in Maine are required to enforce the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC) based on the 2015 editions of the International Codes (I-Codes).
July 1, 2012 A change in law increases the population threshold from 2,000 to 4,000, requiring municipalities with 4,000 or more residents to enforce the MUBEC if they had a building code in place by August 2008. Article: 34 towns across Maine to enforce new building code.
September 28, 2011 The MUBEC must now be enforced in municipalities of 4,000 or more in population that did not adopt any building code on or before August 1, 2008.
May 6, 2011 Two other bills addressing the MUBEC are considered by the Committee on State and Local Government. LD 1416 proposes returning the power of adopting building codes to municipalities, potentially shrinking the statewide application of the MUBEC. LD 1442 seeks to clarify enforcement of the MUBEC and reaffirm its position as the statewide construction code.
January 11, 2011 A bill (HP 36 LD 43) introduced in the Maine Legislature proposes to repeal the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code (MUBEC). A hearing on the bill is scheduled for April 7 before the House Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development. On April 14th, the committee votes that this bill ought not to pass.
June 1, 2010 The legislative establishment of the MUBEC in April 2008 by LD 2257 (enacted as P.L. 699) leads to the Bureau of Building Codes and Standards issuing regulations setting the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as mandatory energy standards. The MUBEC becomes effective, replacing all local municipal building codes. Cities and towns may not amend any MUBEC provisions, even to make it more stringent. Enforcement responsibility lies with local jurisdictions.
December 2004 The completed Climate Action Plan is submitted to the legislature.
June 2003 The Maine State Legislature passes a bill requiring the DEP to develop a climate action plan aimed at reducing emissions.
1979 PL 503, “The Energy Building Performance Standards Act,” establishes 10 MRSA, Chapter 214, which directs the Office of Energy Resources (OER) to adopt voluntary energy standards for residential and commercial new construction and substantial renovations. In 1980, these standards are adopted into law.
1977 The state legislature adopts Chapter 57 of the Private and Special Laws, directing the OER to establish the Maine Commission on Energy Efficiency Building Performance Standards (the Commission). The Commission is directed to investigate energy building standards and make recommendations to the next biennial legislature.

Contacts

Kathy Robitaille
Secretary
Bureau of Building Codes and Standards
Email: Kathy.Chamberlain-Robitaille@maine.gov

Richard Dolby
Principal
MUBEC Inspection Services LLC
Email: richard.a.dolby@gmail.com

Brianne Hasty
CEO Training Coordinator
Department of Economic and Community Development
Email: Brianne.Hasty@maine.gov

Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite
Senior Program Manager, High Performance Buildings
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)
Email: cgoldthwaite@neep.org


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