Building Energy Code

Program Building Energy Code
Category Regulatory Policy
Implementing sector State
Last Update
State North Dakota
Sectors Residential

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.

Current Code

On January 1st 2014, the new State Building Code went into effect. It consists of the 2012 International Building Code (IBC), 2012 International Residential Code (IRC),  and 2012 International Mechanical Code (IMC). Energy provisions are voluntary and based on the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for both the commercial and residential codes. 

North Dakota is a Home Rule state, so the State Building Code only applies to local jurisdictions that choose to adopt it. If a local jurisdiction chooses to adopt a building code, it must adopt the State Building Code, but it is permitted to amend the code.

In chapter 11 of the IRC, there is a choice between meeting the IRC requirements or the 2009 IECC requirements.

  •  N1101.2 Compliance. Compliance shall be demonstrated by either meeting the requirements of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code or meeting the requirements of this chapter. In chapter 13 of the IBC you must meet the 2009 IECC requirements.
  • 1301.1.1 Criteria. Buildings shall be designed and constructed in accordance with the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code. Although the main building code changed to the 2012 codes, the energy code stayed with 2009. 


The 1993 State Legislature updated the state energy code to the 1989 Model Energy Code (MEC) and established a procedure to update the standard. Then in 1995, following consultation with an advisory group, the energy code was updated to the 1993 MEC with reference made to the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 - 1989 for commercial structures.

In May 1999, the North Dakota Association of Building for the North Dakota Office of Intergovernmental Assistance conducted a study on the Energy Efficiency Levels of Newly Constructed Homes in North Dakota. The study concluded that new homes built then in 1999 met or exceeded 1993 MEC standards.

In May 2009, the state legislature passed S.B. 2352 removing the voluntary energy code (the 1993 MEC and ASHRAE 90.1-1989) from state law effective August 2009 and placing it under the purview of the North Dakota State Building Code. The state Building Code Advisory Committee now has the authority to make recommendations that could include energy standards in future editions of the State Building Code.

On January 1st, 2011 the State Building Code went into effect with 2009 IECC requirements. In the 2009 IRC, builders have the option to use either Chapter 11 or the 2009 IECC. In the 2009 IBC, chapter 13 states builders will use the 2009 IECC.

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