Nevada Building Codes

Nevada building codes set the standards for construction within the state, addressing factors like structural integrity, fire safety, and energy efficiency. These regulations help create secure and environmentally responsible buildings, ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike. Compliance with Nevada’s building codes is vital for architects, builders, and property owners to meet high construction standards in the Silver State.

Current Commercial Code of Nevada

  • Code: 2018 IBC with Nevada amendments; ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019 as an acceptable compliance path.
  • Passed: December 19, 2018
  • Effective: December 19, 2018 – Present

Current Residential Code of Nevada

  • Code: 2018 IRC with Nevada amendments
  • Passed: December 19, 2018
  • Effective: ecember 19, 2018 – Present

Southern Nevada amendments to the 2012 IECC
Northern Nevada amendments to the 2012 IECC

Climate Zones: 3B, 5B


Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Regulatory: Historically, Nevada required legislative action to make changes to building codes, including the state energy code. However, significant regulatory reforms have allowed for more streamlined updates. For example, the Nevada State Energy Office (NSOE) was empowered by NRS 701.220, established through SB 73 in 2009, to autonomously promulgate rules to adopt the most recent version of the IECC every three years without needing legislative approval. This change aimed to ensure that Nevada could promptly adopt updated standards reflecting new energy efficiencies and technologies.

In addition to state-wide regulations, many local jurisdictions such as Southern Nevada and the City of Las Vegas have taken initiatives to adopt their own, often more stringent, energy codes that go beyond the state’s minimum requirements.

Local Adoption: While the state adopts building codes like the IECC statewide, individual municipalities are responsible for adopting these codes locally. For instance, the City of Reno officially adopted the 2012 IECC in January 2016, which became effective in July 2016. This staggered and localized adoption allows for adjustments and adaptations that suit local needs and conditions.

Code Change Cycle

NRS 701.220 mandates that NSOE must promulgate regulations to adopt the most recent version of the IECC by July 1, 2015, and subsequently on or before July 1 of every third year thereafter. This structured cycle facilitates regular updates to ensure that Nevada’s building standards adequately reflect the latest safety, energy efficiency, and technological advancements.

Next Code Update

The next planned code update in Nevada is the adoption of the 2015 IECC, scheduled for July 1, 2018. To prepare for this, the state began the process in January 2017, engaging with stakeholders to educate and gather feedback. Additionally, Nevada planned to conduct four stakeholder training workshops/webinars throughout 2017 to ensure a smooth transition and broad-based compliance with the new code standards.


History

July 1, 2018 Nevada plans to adopt the 2015 IECC on July 1, 2018. The state starts the process in January 2017 to educate and obtain feedback from stakeholders. Nevada also plans to hold four stakeholder training workshops/webinars during 2017 to facilitate this adoption.
July 1, 2015 The new energy codes become effective. The residential code is based on the 2012 IECC with Nevada amendments. The commercial code is based on the 2012 IECC with Nevada amendments and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 as an acceptable compliance path through Chapter 5 of the 2012 IECC. Local jurisdictions may not adopt less efficient energy codes.
May 2014 The Nevada State Energy Office (NSOE) adopts the 2012 IECC.
December 30, 2011 NSOE adopts final regulations (LCB File No. R024-11). These regulations will become effective July 1, 2012.
July 5, 2011 The 2009 IECC with amendments becomes effective in the city of Las Vegas.
May 26, 2011 The Nevada Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Authority (REEEA) hosts a workshop to accept written and oral public comments on the state’s rulemaking process to adopt the 2009 IECC as required under NRS 701.220. Three regulation hearings are scheduled for the summer around the state.
April 6, 2011 The Las Vegas City Council adopts the SNBO amendments to the 2009 IECC.
January 2011 The Nevada Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Authority (REEEA) holds stakeholder meetings on January 11th in Reno and January 12th in Las Vegas to provide building jurisdiction, building professional, and interested parties an opportunity to work with REEEA to develop the process for meeting 90% compliance with the 2009 IECC by 2017.
October 2010 REEEA opens a rulemaking to adopt, amend, or repeal regulations to update the state energy code to the 2009 IECC. The Nevada Energy Commissioner must conduct at least three hearings on proposed regulations in different locations in the state and give 30 days’ notice for each hearing.
September 2010 The Southern Nevada Building Officials approve the 2009 Amendments for Southern Nevada for use within its eight member jurisdictions, including Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.
May 22, 2009 Governor Jim Gibbons signs into law legislation (SB 73 and SB 358) that revises the process of updating the state’s building energy codes by establishing the standards adopted by the NSOE as the minimum standards for building energy efficiency and conservation. The law requires local governments to adopt the codes set by the Office of Energy and to enforce them (they are also allowed to adopt more stringent standards provided they give notice to the Office of Energy). The law mandates the adoption of the most recent version of the IECC and requires the adoption of the most recent updated version of the IECC every three years. The Office of Energy must still hold public hearings in three different locations in the state after giving 30 days’ notice of such hearings before adopting any new standards.
June 17, 2005 The 2003 IECC becomes mandatory for all jurisdictions that did not have an energy code in effect by the beginning of 2005, when Nevada Chapter 701 was passed. REScheck and COMcheck can be used to show compliance for the envelope and mechanical only.
Fall 1993 The Nevada Office of Community Services is dissolved.
July 8, 1988 Nevada adopts the “Regulations for the Conservation of Energy in New Building Construction”, formulated based on the 1986 MEC with minor state amendments. This code is applicable only in areas where the local jurisdiction has not previously adopted an energy code. This remains the basis for the statewide energy code.
1985 The legislature gives the Nevada Office of Community Services authority to formulate new statewide standards for energy conservation in new buildings.
1983 The Nevada Department of Energy is disbanded. Between 1983 and 1986, the state does not support or enforce the energy code.
January 1, 1978 Nevada’s first energy code, “Energy Conservation Standards for New Building Construction,” is adopted. This code, based on ASHRAE Standard 90-75, was written by the state and formulated by the Nevada

Contacts

Kelly Thomas, LEED AP BD+C
Energy Program Manager
Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy
Email: kxthomas@energy.nv.gov

Ken Baker
Senior Manager, Codes
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Email: kbaker1@mindspring.com


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