2013 Residential Code of Ohio (RCO)


Residential Code: The 2013 Residential Code of Ohio is based on Chapter 11 of the 2009 IRC. It includes the 2009 IECC and two state-specific alternatives as three options to demonstrate compliance (see below).

Commercial Code: See 2011 Ohio Building Code

TEXT: 2013 Residential Code of Ohio

Citation: Ohio Revised Code 4101:8-11-01 (Energy efficiency)

Application: Mandatory statewide shall apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal, and demolition of every one-, two-, or three-family dwelling. See RCO Section 101 and RCO Section 1101 for more details.

Compliance: Compliance shall be demonstrated by meeting the requirements of one of the following options:
1. The 2009 IECC; or
2. RCO Sections 1101 through 1104; or
3. RCO Section 1105 – “The Ohio Home Builder’s Association (OHBA) Alternative Energy Code Option”.

Approximate Efficiency: The RCO compliance path referencing the 2009 IECC is as efficient as the 2009 IECC. The two alternative compliance paths may allow for lower overall energy savings achieved.

Effective Date: January 1, 2013

Approved Compliance Tools: REScheck 

RECA Residential Compliance Guides for OH: 2006 IECC | 2009 IECC | 2012 IECC 

Background: On May 28, 2012, the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) updated the Residential Code of Ohio (RCO) to reference the 2009 IECC with two state-developed alternative compliance paths. The new code will be effective for new and renovated homes in January 2013. Ohio has not updated its residential building energy code since 2009, and the previous code was based on the 2006 IECC with substantially weaker alternative compliance paths.

Among the changes, the new code will:

  • Raise the minimum insulation for exterior walls from R-13 to R-20, or R-13 plus a layer of insulating sheathing.
  • Raise the minimum R-value of basement walls from R-5 to R-10
  • Require that carbon-monoxide detectors be installed outside each bedroom in a home that uses gas or propane or includes an attached garage.
  • Require that at least 75 percent of light bulbs in new homes be high-efficiency, such as compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Mandate that homes meet an air-tightness standard, which can be shown using a blower-door test, as required by one of the three compliance paths (not effective until January 2014)
  • Require that floor joists between the basement and first floor that are less than 10 inches deep include a gypsum or wood layer underneath for additional fire protection.
  • Increase the efficiency of windows by reducing the maximum U-value from .40 to .35.
  • Remove the requirement that sump pumps and garage door openers be plugged into GFCI outlets after homeowners complained that sump pumps and garage openers were kicking off.

BBS previously updated the Ohio Building Code (OBC) for nonresidential construction to reference the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as compliances paths in November 2011.

More Information: OCEAN Story Link | BBS | Columbus Dispatch Article | DOE News Post | OBC Update

Information last updated January 14, 2013


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Based on: 
Date Passed: 
Monday, May 28, 2012
Date Effective: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
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