Rhode Island Building Codes

Current Commercial Code

SBC-8 State Energy Conservation Code
Based on the 2019 IECC
Effective August 1, 2019

Rhode Island’s code adoption includes the commercial provisions of the 2019 IECC, aligning with the state’s energy conservation initiatives.

The state is also developing a commercial stretch code.

Rhode Island building codes

Current Residential Code

Current Residential Code
SBC-2 State Building Code
Based on the 2019 IRC and 2019 IECC
Effective August 1, 2019

This adoption provides guidelines that cover various aspects of residential construction including structural elements, fire safety, energy conservation, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The integration of the 2019 IECC focuses on improving energy performance in homes, supporting Rhode Island’s goals for energy efficiency.

Rhode Island has a factsheet on the residential provisions of the 2012 IECC.

Climate Zone: 5A


Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Regulatory: The State Building Codes Standards Committee (SBCSC) is responsible for adopting and amending the state building code, including the energy code.

Code Change Cycle

Three-year code review/change cycle concurrent with publication of new editions of model codes

Next Code Update

Rhode Island typically updates its building codes to align with new editions of the International Code Council (ICC) codes, which are revised every three years. The last update incorporated the 2019 editions, effective from August 2019. Following this pattern, the next expected update would likely involve the 2022 ICC codes.


History

2021 Rhode Island adopts the 2021 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), emphasizing modernized standards for building safety and energy efficiency.
December 8, 2015 Governor Gina M. Raimundo signs Executive Order 15-17, directing the state to establish a stretch energy code usable by both public and private nonresidential buildings by 2017.
July 1, 2013 Rhode Island adopts the 2012 IECC as its state building code with amendments including the continuation of the 2009 insulation table for building envelopes. Effective October 1, 2013. Amendments also stipulate that new residential buildings must undergo performance testing but do not need to meet specific performance targets for occupancy.
October 2010 Rhode Island becomes the first state to adopt the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The Rhode Island Green Buildings Act identifies the IgCC as an equivalent high-performance green building standard for qualifying public projects. Rules and regulations take effect.
July 1, 2010 After HB 5986 (May 2009), the Rhode Island State Building Commission updates the 2010 Rhode Island State Energy Conservation Code, based on the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007. The new non-residential code, the 2010 Rhode Island One and Two Family Dwelling Code, becomes effective.
November 9, 2009 Governor Donald Carcieri signs SB 232 as Public Law No. 2009-212, mandating at least a USGBC LEED “Certified” rating (or equivalent) for public buildings and schools entering the design phase after January 1, 2010.
April 22, 2009 S 0863 is introduced, compelling the state building standards committee to adopt an energy conservation code based on nationally and internationally recognized models.
February 26, 2008 H 7884,

Contacts

Thomas G. DiFusco
State Building Code Inspector
Building Code Commission
Email: Thomas.DiFusco@doa.ri.gov

Barbara Cesaro
Interdepartmental Project Manager
Office of Energy Resources
Email: Barbara.Cesaro@energy.ri.gov

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


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