Oklahoma has adopted a new energy code that went into effect in 2016. For residential buildings that code is Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code as amended by the OUBCC (OK 2015 IRC) or the 2009 IECC as published. For all other private sector buildings the applicable energy code is the 2006 IECC.
The Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission has the power and the duty to review and adopt all building codes for residential and commercial construction to be used by all entities within Oklahoma. Codes and standards adopted by the Commission are the minimum standards for residential and commercial construction in Oklahoma. Municipalities and other political subdivisions must abide by the minimum standards and requirements; provided, nothing in the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission Act shall prevent or take away from such municipalities and other political subdivisions the authority to enact and enforce requirements containing higher standards and requirements than such minimum standards and requirements. Any codes adopted by state agencies, municipalities or other political subdivisions of the state prior to uniform codes being adopted by the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission shall be considered valid and in effect until uniform codes are adopted by the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission.
Cities, Towns and Villages
Even though the codes adopted by the OUBCC are the minimum state codes, to help eliminate any confusion it is a good idea to adopt the OUBCC’s codes locally as well. Builders are required to build to the minimum state codes regardless of local adoption and enforcement. Code adoption ordinances take many forms, and most cities will have a preferred format. If your city doesn’t have a standard format, see the sample ordinance here. In the unincorporated areas of counties, builders are still responsible for meeting the requirements of the codes even though some counties do not issue permits or perform inspections.
If a municipality does not desire local amendments to the codes adopted by the OUBCC then an ‘auto-adoption per the OUBCC ordinance may be useful. An auto-adoption ordinance would eliminate the need to return to City Council each time the OUBCC adopts a new code. You can find a sample ‘auto-adoption’ ordinance here.
State law allows local jurisdictions to adopt amendments to the code if they do not make the code less stringent. Cities that are considering adopting local amendments should notify the Oklahoma Uniform Building Code Commission (OUBCC) per Chapter 15 of the OUBCC rules.
SPEER recommends that local jurisdictions adopt the Oklahoma 2015 Energy Code or the 2015 IECC with a few amendments as possible. However, there are a few areas in the code where more clarity may be needed. SPEER has provided a list of clarifying amendments that may be useful for cities to adopt. Click on any of the following topics to see the suggested amendment.