West Virginia Building Codes

Current Commercial Code of West Virginia

west Virginia energy codes

Based on the 2015 IBC and 2015 IECC
Passed in 2016, effective since 2017

Current Residential Code

West Virginia State Residential Code
Based on the 2015 IRC
Effective since 2016

This adoption provides the framework for all aspects of residential construction in West Virginia, including structural design, fire safety, energy efficiency, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems. The integration with the 2015 IRC aims to promote safety and durability in home construction across the state.

Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Legislative and Regulatory: The West Virginia State Fire Commission is responsible for adopting, promulgating, and amending statewide construction codes. The Administrative Procedures Act requires public hearings on the adoption of all codes by the State Fire Commission.

Code Change Cycle
  • Frequency: Irregular
  • Process: The process involves review and recommendations by the West Virginia Fire Commission and other relevant state bodies. Public hearings and stakeholder consultations are part of the process to ensure that the adopted codes meet the state’s specific needs and conditions.
  • Implementation: Once adopted, new codes become mandatory after a designated effective date, allowing for a transition period from the old codes to the new codes.
Next Code Update

The last major update adopted the 2015 editions of the International Codes, which became effective in 2017.


History

2017 West Virginia adopts the 2015 editions of the International Building Code (IBC) and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for commercial and residential buildings. The adoption aims to update safety and energy efficiency standards statewide.
September 1, 2013 The 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 become effective for residential and commercial buildings, respectively. West Virginia has moved to the 2012 I-codes with the exception of the energy code.
April 2, 2012 The West Virginia State Fire Marshal proposes regulatory rule amendments to Title 87 of the state administrative code to update the residential and commercial building energy codes to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 unamended. The rule also aims to update the 2012 IBC and the 2012 IRC for one- and two-family dwellings, with specific amendments. This proposal needs to pass through a regulatory rulemaking oversight committee of the state legislature to be officially adopted.
January – March 2011 Two bills concerning building energy efficiency are introduced in the West Virginia Legislature. The Green Buildings Act (SB 510) and the Energy Efficient Building Act (HB 2890) propose requirements and incentives for energy-efficient construction, though neither bill becomes law.
January 13, 2010 House Bill 4008 is introduced, proposing the use of LEED and Green Globes standards for new construction and renovation of state buildings. The bill dies in the House Finance committee in February 2010.
May 7, 2009 Governor Joe Manchin signs legislation directing the State Fire Commission to add the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 to the state building code, commencing the rulemaking process.
2009 West Virginia adopts the 2003 IECC for residential and commercial buildings.
April 3, 1991 The 1990 National Energy Conservation Code (NECC) is adopted by reference along with other codes for building design and construction.
April 28, 1989 A state building code is authorized by the legislature and becomes effective, preempting all other local codes. The State Fire Marshal had requested this legislation in 1987, and the State Fire Commission worked with the legislature to pass it.

Contacts

Jeff Herholdt
Director
Department of Commerce
Division of Energy
Email: Jeff.F.Herholdt@wv.gov

Kelly A. Bragg
Energy Development Specialist
Department of Commerce
Division of Energy
Email: Kelly.A.Bragg@wv.gov


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