Utah Building Codes

Utah Building Codes, under the authority of the Utah State Construction and Fire Codes Act, sets the various codes and standards responsible for safe and efficient construction in the state. It encompasses the codes and regulations responsible for building design, construction materials, and safety measures, promoting the health, safety and well-being of residents and the durability of structures throughout Utah.

utah building code

Current Commercial Code of Utah
  1. Utah Building Code:
    • Code: International Building Code (IBC) 2021
    • Status: Amended
    • This code sets standards for all types of building construction in Utah, including commercial.
  2. Utah Fire Code:
    • Code: International Fire Code (IFC) 2021
    • Status: Amended
    • Regulates fire safety requirements in commercial buildings, including fire prevention, suppression systems, and emergency exits.
  3. Utah Plumbing Code:
    • Code: International Plumbing Code (IPC) 2021
    • Status: Amended
    • Covers all plumbing systems in commercial buildings, ensuring they meet health and safety standards.
  4. Utah Mechanical Code:
    • Code: International Mechanical Code (IMC) 2021
    • Status: Amended
    • Applies to heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems (HVACR) in commercial structures.
  5. Utah Commercial Energy Conservation Code:
    • Code: International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2021
    • Status: Amended
    • Focuses on energy efficiency in commercial buildings to reduce environmental impact and operational costs.
  6. Utah Electrical Code:
    • Code: National Electrical Code (NFPA 70), 2020
    • Status: Amended
    • Provides guidelines for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to prevent electrical hazards in commercial buildings.
Current Residential Code of Utah
  • Code: International Residential Code (IRC) 2021
  • Status: Amended

Building Code Review and Adoption Amendments

Climate Zones: 3B, 5B, 6B


Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Regulatory and Legislative:: The Utah Uniform Building Code Commission is charged with forming advisory committees and recommending code adoptions and amendments for adoption to the Utah Legislature. The Commission shall by no later than November 30th of each year recommend to the Business and Labor Interim Committee whether the Legislature should: amend or repeal one or more provisions of a State Construction Code; or in a year of a regularly scheduled update of a nationally recognized code, adopt a construction code with any modifications.
If the Business and Labor Interim Committee decides to recommend legislative action to the Legislature, the Business and Labor Interim Committee shall prepare legislation for consideration by the Legislature in the next general session that, if passed by the Legislature, would:

  • Adopt a new State Construction Code in its entirety; or
  • Amend or repeal one or more provisions of the State Construction Code.
Code Change Cycle

A significant law passed in 2016 mandated that the International Residential Code (IRC) operates on a six-year adoption cycle. This cycle affects how often updates to the residential codes are considered and potentially adopted.

Next Code Update

The next expected update or consideration for new building code adoption would be around the year 2027.


History

Date Event
July 1, 2023 The updated codes based on the 2021 IECC and other standards go into effect, following the passage of HB0532. These updates include amendments specific to Utah’s building needs.
July 1, 2021 The Utah Building Code adopts the 2021 International Building Code (IBC), International Residential Code (IRC), and other associated codes with state-specific amendments.
July 1, 2016 The new code, based on the 2015 IECC, goes into effect. However, numerous amendments have weakened the residential code.
March 24, 2016 The governor signs House Bill 316, adopting the 2015 IECC for commercial and residential construction.
June 4, 2014 Utah Governor Gary Herbert issues the Utah Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan, including 26 recommendations to highlight energy efficiency efforts.
February 29, 2012 House Bill 262, which would have updated the residential code to the 2009 IECC, is tabled by the House Political Subdivisions Committee, indefinitely postponing action.
August 2011 Media coverage increases on building energy efficiency and the movement to update Utah’s residential building energy code to the 2009 IECC.
February 3, 2011 The Utah House declines to amend a construction codes bill (HB 203) to adopt the 2009 IECC for residential dwellings.
October 20, 2010 The Utah Senate Business and Labor Interim Committee opts not to follow recommendations to adopt a modified version of the 2009 IECC for new homes and major renovations, keeping at the 2006 IECC.
September 8, 2010 The Utah Uniform Building Code Commission recommends the adoption of a modified version of the 2009 IECC for new homes and major renovations.
July 1, 2010 The Utah Legislature updates the Utah State Construction Code to reference the 2009 ICC codes series, including the 2009 IECC, with specific amendments for energy efficiency.
February 2009 House Bill 394, concerning amendments to the Uniform Building Code Commission, is introduced but eventually fails.
January 1, 2007 Updates to the Utah Uniform Building Standard Act, making the 2006 IECC mandatory for all residential and commercial buildings, go into effect.
May 1, 2006 House Bill 80, concerning energy savings in state buildings, goes into effect.
January 1978 A code based on the Model Code for Energy Conservation (MCEC) is adopted.
March 1977 Legislation is passed requiring the Building Board to promulgate an energy conservation code.
January 1976 Legislation provides for the adoption of an energy conservation code for state buildings.
1953 The Utah Uniform Building Standards Act is passed, establishing building standards for the state.

Contacts

Shawna Cuan
Building & Industrial Energy Efficiency Specialist
Governor’s Office of Energy Development
Contact page

Brooke Kimball
Energy Efficiency & Environmental Program Coordinator
Governor’s Office of Energy Development
Contact page

Jim Meyers
Director, Buildings Efficiency Program
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Email: jmeyers@swenergy.org

Christine Brinker
Senior Associate, Buildings Efficiency Program
Southwest Energy Efficiency Project
Email: cbrinker@swenergy.org


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