Current Commercial Code
Ohio Building Code (OBC) Chapter 13, based on the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 with amendments.
Adopted 9/30/2016, effective 1/1/2017
This code is mandatory statewide for the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of buildings under its purview. The OBC is generally applicable to construction that is not detached one-, two-, or three-family dwellings.
Current Residential Code
2013 Residential Code of Ohio, based on the 2009 IRC Chapter 11; includes the 2009 IECC and two state-specific alternatives (RCO Sections 1101 through 1104; RCO Section 1105)
passed 5/28/2012, effective 1/1/2013
This code is mandatory statewide for the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal, and demolition of every one-, two-, or three-family dwelling.
Climate Zones: 4A, 5A
Code Adoption and Change Process
Code Change Process
Legislative and Regulatory Process:
Ohio Building Code: Revisions and updates are promulgated by the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS), the primary state agency authorized to protect the public’s safety and welfare in building design and construction. Any BBS recommendations are then submitted by Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR), and finally go through the state’s administrative review procedures before any updates become effective.
Residential Code of Ohio: An energy subcommittee of the Residential Codes Advisory Council (RCAC) provides recommendations on proposed updates to the residential code, which then must be approved by a vote of the RCAC. Those recommendations then follow the same process as Ohio Building Standards updates.
Code Change Cycle
No set schedule
Next Code Update
January 21, 2011The Ohio BBS approves a set of amendments to update the state’s construction codes. Part D would update the Ohio Building Code (OBC) to incorporate the 2009 International Building Code (IBC), including its references to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as compliance paths for energy efficiency for non-residential buildings. The OBC currently references the 2006 IBC.
|September 30, 2016||The Ohio Board of Building Standards adopts the rule changes identified as Amendments Group 92. These rule amendments include those to OBC Chapter 13, pertaining to energy efficiency. These changes go into effect on January 1, 2017.|
|January 1, 2013||The 2013 Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) becomes effective for new and renovated residential construction.|
|May 28, 2012||The BBS updates the RCO to reference the 2009 IECC with two state-developed alternative compliance paths. Prior to this, Ohio has not updated its residential building energy code since 2009, and the previous code was based on the 2006 IECC with substantially weaker alternative compliance paths.
Among the changes, the new code will:
|April 26, 2012||The BBS convenes for a public hearing to solicit testimony on proposed rules affecting the residential building code. The proposal plans to adopt the 2009 IECC for residential buildings while also offering an alternative compliance path offered by the Ohio Home Builder Association. Additionally, the rules are proposed to comply with the five year rule review and to replace the current Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) with a new residential code that is based upon the 2009 IRC. Should BBS approve the proposals, the recommendations will go before Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).|
|November 1, 2011||Updates to the Ohio Building Code, Ohio Mechanical Code and the Ohio Plumbing Code become effective. BBS updates the Ohio Building Code (OBC) for nonresidential construction to reference the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as compliance paths.|
|May 11, 2011||The Residential Codes Advisory Committee (RCAC) gives final approval to the OHBA Residential Alternative Energy Code as an alternative compliance path to the 2009 IECC to be referenced in the next edition of the Ohio Residential Code (ORC). While containing several amendments to the base model code, some advocates believe the proposal will achieve energy savings equivalent to the 2009 IECC and at a cost less than that of the 2006 IECC in some parts of the state. An RCAC energy subcommittee initially approved the proposal on March 22, and the OHBA and MEEA worked to convert the proposal into actual code language.|
|March 7, 2011||The Ohio legislature’s Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR) approves a January 21 BBS recommendation to update the state’s nonresidential energy standards. The Ohio BBS sets a November 1, 2011 effective date for the code updates to the Ohio Building Code, Ohio Mechanical Code and the Ohio Plumbing Code.|
|February 17, 2009||A bill (HB 7) is introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives that would establish green building labeling and energy use standards for any building or structure constructed using any state capital budget money, including money from the education facilities trust fund. This bill eventually dies in the House.|
|January 1, 2009||BBS adopts the 2006 IECC for the second time and adds an additional prescriptive option for demonstrating energy code compliance for one-, two-, and three-family dwellings. Compliance can be demonstrated by the requirements of the 2006 IECC, OR meeting the requirements of sections 1101-1103 of Chapter 11 of the Residential Code of Ohio, OR by meeting the state code’s new Prescriptive Energy Requirements (section 1104).|
|March 28, 2008||The Ohio Board of Building Standards makes a request to the Governor’s Office for an executive order to authorize the filing of emergency rules. On March 31, 2008, the Governor signs Executive Order 2008-06S authorizing the BBS to file the emergency rules. BBS files the emergency rules the same day; after March 31, construction documents for all residential one-, two-, and three-family dwelling projects are required to only meet or exceed the 2003 IECC and the 2005 NEC to comply with the Residential Code of Ohio (RCO). Non-residential construction would continue to use 2008 OBC, referencing the 2006 IECC and the 2008 NEC for compliance throughout this time period.
After a review of the 2006 IECC by a specially appointed Ad-Hoc committee consisting of several home builders, staff from the Ohio Energy Office, an energy rater, and BBS staff, the committee makes a recommendation to propose re-adoption of the 2006 IECC with the addition of a unique Ohio prescriptive path that offers another method of compliance for one-, two-, and three-family dwellings. A public hearing is held on November 7, 2008 to receive public comments.
|January 1, 2008||The 2008 Ohio Building Code (OBC) goes into effect. This code is based on the 2006 IBC, referencing the 2006 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004 as compliance paths. It is mandatory statewide, and COMcheck can be used to show compliance. This code is no longer effective after November 1, 2011.|
|March 1, 2005||The 2003 IECC goes into effect.|
|March 1, 1998||The 1995 MEC is adopted and becomes effective.|
|July 1, 1995||The 1993 MEC and ASHRAE 90.1-1989 go into effect.|
|October 20, 1978||The Board of Building Standards adopts a rule, effective July 1, 1979, repealing most of the existing Ohio Building Code. The resulting collection of model code sections and superseding Ohio provisions, together with the CABO Model Energy Code (MEC), among others, comprises the OBBC.
Prior to July 1, 1979, the rules of the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) were compiled in a document known as the Ohio Building Code.
Deborah D. Ohler, PE
Board of Building and Standards
Ohio Department of Commerce
Steven P. Regoli, AIA
Architect Project Administrator
Board of Building and Standards
Ohio Department of Commerce
News and Events
- A Tale of Bright Highs and Dark Lows: The State of Energy Efficiency in the Midwest August 11, 2014
- The Energy Code Ambassador Program: A Network Of Peer-To-Peer Support April 16, 2014
- New and Improved Energy Code Ambassador Program Launched In Ohio September 20, 2013
Cosimina has been a member of BCAP for over a decade, actively contributing to the organization’s nationally acclaimed initiatives aimed at assisting states and local authorities in the establishment and enforcement of robust and efficient building energy codes. Her involvement spans across advocacy, technical guidance, outreach programs, and the formation of strategic coalitions.