NOTE: Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.
The Connecticut Office of the State Building Inspector establishes and enforces building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and energy code requirements by reviewing, developing, adopting and administering the state building code. Compliance is determined through construction documents submitted to the relevant local building official showing detailed building data and features, and equipment systems governed under the code. Variances and interpretations of the code are granted through the Connecticut Department of Public Safety.
HB 7432, enacted in June 2007, added provisions to strengthen the state's building code, and required the state building inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee to revise the state building code by January 1, 2008. The new code applies to all buildings (including residential buildings) and is designed to provide optimum cost-effective energy efficiency over the useful life of the building. HB 6284 of 2009 further required the state building inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee to adopt the 2012 version of the IECC within 18 months of its publication.
HB 7432 also created a requirement for certain building projects (not including residential buildings with less than four units) to follow approved green building guidelines. The provision applies to buildings constructed after January 1, 2009, that are projected to cost at least $5 million, and building renovation projects started after January 1, 2010, that are projected to cost at least $2 million. The bill required building projects which meet this criteria to achieve a silver rating from LEED, a two-globe rating in the Green Globes USA design program, or an equivalent standard. After enforcement difficulties for this provision were identified, HB 6284 of 2009 revised the requirement so that the affected buildings do not have to be certified under these green building programs, but must simply be designed to adhere to their specifications. The state building inspector and the Codes and Standards Committee will adopt provisions within the state building code specific to these building types that reference these green building certification programs, but allow building owners to demonstrate compliance through means other than certification under those specific certification programs.
Public Act 15-194 effective October 1st 2015 requires each municipality to incorporate residential solar photovoltaic systems on its building permit application process. Residential solar PV systems for the purpose are defined as systems sized up to 12 kW or less and are installed on the roof of a single-family home. By January 2016, each municipality is required to include a permit application on their website, and allow electric submission of the application. The municipality must approve or deny the application within 30 days after the submission. The installation of the solar PV system must conform to the International Residential Code portion of the CT State Building Code.
More information can be found here.