The Purpose of Building Energy Codes

Energy codes and the related standards that they build upon set the minimum requirements for new construction and renovations. Homes and buildings built to or above the code requirements ensure higher levels of energy efficiency, comfort, durability and make buildings more affordable to buy and to operate.

Both Texas and Oklahoma adopt statewide minimum energy codes.11 (1)

Texas State Building Energy Codes

Oklahoma State Building Codes

However, both Texas and Oklahoma require cities to implement and enforce the state’s adopted codes, or more efficient codes if they choose.

Code Adoption Resources

International Code Council Energy Code Certification is required by state law in Texas for all inspectors and plan reviewers including third-party inspectors who participate in code enforcement. SPEER is an ICC preferred provider for CEU’s which are needed to keep this certification active. Courses and training opportunities are provided by SPEER at no charge, through in-person or webinar presentations.

ResCheck and ComCheck are tools to assist in determining compliance of new buildings. ResCheck and ComCheck are now being updated for the 2015 codes and older versions (prior to 2009) will no longer be supported.

ISO – The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is a leading source of information about property/casualty insurance risk. They assess communities, and their ratings impact a broad spectrum of commercial and personal lines of insurance. ISO assesses the building codes in effect in individual communities and how those communities enforce their building codes. The assessments place special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards. To maintain the highest rating, jurisdictions must adopt and enforce the most recently published codes.

Texas Energy Code Training Center – Sponsored by the State Energy Conservation Office – has free online videos, checklists, and other resources to assist anyone in the industry.

Builders are required by state law in Texas to provide self-certification that a home meets the state energy code in unincorporated areas of the state where there is no enforcement or inspection authority. Texas A&M Energy Systems Lab provides builders with an online form for this purpose. For the form, click here.

Energy Code Requirement Guides
These are very brief guides which specify the requirements of the energy codes by climate zone including a list of counties in each of the three climate zones. There are guides now available for 2009, 2012 IECC codes which can be downloaded and printed for an easy resource.

2012 IECC Compliance Guide for Homes in Texas
2012  IECC Compliance Guide for Homes in Oklahoma
2009 IECC Compliance  Guide for Homes in Texas
2009 IECC Compliance Guide for Homes in Oklahoma
2009 IECC Compliance Guide for Simple Commercial Buildings

Success With Energy Codes Resources
Success With Energy Codes is a series of workbooks, inspector checklists, and tech tips for builders and contractors specifically developed for the Energy Codes in Texas and Oklahoma.
-To access inspector checklists click here, scroll down to national resources and click on the appropriate code year.
-To purchase workbooks click here and select the Texas/Oklahoma region.
-To access free Tech Tips and Checklists for Builders and Trades, click here and select Texas or Oklahoma

Air Conditioning Contractors of America
SPEER member, Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), has some very valuable and free resources for code officials who need to increase their understanding of residential HVAC submittals like Manuals J, D and S. These brochures are downloadable and printable and offer a description of the various ACCA manuals and checklists for plans examiners to use in verifying the accuracy of the submittals.

HVAC Design Resources:

Manual J Verification  |  Manual D Verification  |  Manual S Verification

ACCA also has an agreement in place with ICC so that Governmental Members can apply for free membership in ACCA. Accessing ACCA membership will allow code officials to get reduced rates on training and resources sold by ACCA.

The ventilation video below is an extremely helpful resource for ventilation practices in all climate zones. It was developed by Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the University of Washington. The information is useful for any region.