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Codes Around the U.S.: Delaware, Vermont, D.C.

Here’s a roundup of building code passage around the nation.

Delaware State Seal featuredDelaware adopted the 2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 2016 (Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low Rise Residential Buildings). There was only one amendment approved: a certified DET verifier is required to conduct testing.

The new codes go into effect December 11. Before that date, Delawareans can choose between the new codes (2018 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 2016) or the previous code (Delaware specific version of 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1 2010).3

Vermont state house featuredVermont made it official: The state adopted the 2020 version of its Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards, with an effective date of September 1, 2020. Also updated was the Vermont Residential Stretch Code.

Overall, the base code is nearly 20% more efficient than the 2018 IECC and the stretch code is even more efficient.

As a reminder, this is the energy code that contains a prescriptive-plus-points compliance option. In the points table, a project that obtains a WERS certification is awarded 2 points.

The same option appears in the stretch code. You can access their code documents, training videos, and other documentation from their entire code development process.

Washington-DC-1Washington, D.C. enacted a new suite of construction codes. It’s a very eclectic and unique set of codes, even if they are a bit on the older side.

They include a strengthened 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013, an updated and strengthened 2013 DC Green Construction Code (based on the 2012 IgCC), and a variety of voluntary net-zero energy stretch codes, including Appendix Z (a net-zero energy code for commercial buildings), a DC-implemented residential net-zero energy program, and variety of third-party administered net-zero energy programs, such as PHIUS+, LBC, LEED Zero, and the like.


Mike Collignon is Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Green Builder Coalition, a not-for-profit association dedicated to amplifying the voice of green builders and professionals to drive advocacy and education for more sustainable homebuilding practices.