City Of Boulder Adopts New Codes

For all of us who work in the design and building industry here in Boulder, we know that staying on top of the current City codes and regulations is not only imperative, but sometimes confusing.

The City of Boulder continues to adopt new codes for both residential and commercial projects so the “rules” for design and documentation that once applied to a certain building type in a specific area of town may no longer be accepted or may need additional data before the City will accept the project for permit review. In fact, new codes were just recently adopted and are currently being enforced.

Fortunately for all of our clients, this particular area of the design and construction process (City code research and implementation) is nothing they need be concerned or bothered with. Fänas Architecture keeps current with all code requirements and revisions so there are no unwanted surprises or “hiccups” during the submittal process and our clients can enjoy the excitement of designing their new home and leave the regulations to us.

The following are the current codes the City of Boulder has adopted and is enforcing as of January 31, 2014:

2012 International Building Code (IBC)

2012 International Residential Code (IRC)

* 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)

2012 International Fire Code (IFC)

2012 International Wildland Urban Interface Code (IWUIC)

2012 International Mechanical Code (IMC)

2012 International Plumbing Code (IPC)

2012 International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC)

2012 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC)

2011 National Electrical Code (NEC)

*The adoption of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), also includes substantial local amendments which were made to create above-code energy efficiency standards for Boulder. They are as noted below:

Local Amendments to the 2012 IECC

* Commercial Energy Efficiency: Adoption of the 2012 IECC standard, as well as the 2010 American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 90.1 standards, with local amendments requiring a 30 percent increase in performance requirements. This above-standard requirement will achieve a significant step toward improved energy efficiency in buildings in balance with the cost impact for new construction.

* Residential Energy Efficiency: Adoption of an energy efficiency improvement of 10 HERS points for all three of the Green Building and Green Points (GBGP) tiered energy efficiency requirements for residential construction. The estimated cost premium for this level of energy efficiency is 1 to 3 percent, based on the size of the home. As the city works toward a net zero energy goal by 2031, continuing the pattern of reducing the HERS index by 10 points per code update cycle will align residential and commercial energy requirements.

For more information about the code changes, contact City of Boulder Chief Building Official Dave Thacker at