Arkansas to Update Commercial Code to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 in January 2013
On January 13, 2012, the Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee of the Arkansas General Assembly approved the Arkansas Energy Office (AEO) 2011 proposal to update the state’s commercial energy code. The code update rule has renamed the 2004 Arkansas Energy Code as the Arkansas Energy Code for New Building Construction. Effective January, 1, 2013, it updates the commercial provisions to reference ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 and Chapter 5 of the 2009 IECC (the previous 2004 state code is based on ASHRAE 90.1-2001 and the 2003 IECC), while the residential standards will continue to reference the 2003 IECC. AEO has also partnered with the state chapter of the USGBC to provide four training sessions on the new commercial code in 2012.
Arkansas has already begun taking several actions to improve the state’s energy code policies similar to recommendations developed by BCAP in the state’s Gap Analysis Report. In March 2011, the state legislature created a regulatory update process by authorizing AEO to promulgate rules to update the state’s energy codes. As directed by the state legislature, AEO began implementing the Rules for Sustainable Energy-Efficient Public Buildings on January 1, 2011. The rules are based on ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 with strengthening amendments that achieve energy savings 10% beyond the base code.