Massachusetts

Current Codes

Residential
2012 IECC Mandatory
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Commercial
2012 IECC, ASHRAE 90.1-2010 Mandatory
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The BBRS voted to adopt the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 on July 9, 2013. They will be phased in over an extended concurrency period, and is expected to become the sole effective baseline energy code on July 1, 2014.

On August 8, 2010, adoption of the broader set of ICC 2009 family of codes was amended into the eigth edition of MA building code maintaining 2009 IECC/90.1-2007 and now included the residential portion of 2009 IECC, effective February 4, 2011.

A number of amendments have been made to the eighth edition base code since it was implemented in 2010. Code enforcement is mandatory and COMcheck can be used to demonstrate compliance.

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Additional Code Information

Advocacy Opportunities

Status

Explanations

Adopt Mandatory Codes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

Massachusetts has a statewide mandatory residential code. The 7th Edition of the Massachusetts Building Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (780 CMR), Chapter 61  stipulates that new homes either comply with the 2006 IECC and 2007 supplement OR achieve a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score of 100 or fewer points.

Commercial

Massachusetts has a statewide mandatory commercial code. The 7th Edition of the Massachusetts Basic Building Code (780 CMR), Chapter 13 calls for compliance with either the 2006 IECC with 2007 supplement or ASHRAE 90.1-2007.

Adopt an Automatic Review & Update Process

The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) is required to revise building codes every three years in accordance with the latest version of the IECC.

Create a Regulatory Process

Code amendments occur twice a year as required by statute and include a public hearing process. The Board of Building Regulations & Standards has sole authority to promulgate the Massachusetts State Building Code (MSBC). Anyone can submit code change proposals to the Board. Adopted code changes are typically promulgated during the year of adoption.

Improve Compliance

 

Residential

Compliance is determined at the local level by local building inspectors as part of an application review and inspection process. Compliance is addressed in three distinct ways:
1) Registered architects and engineers at the design level are charged by state law with abiding by design criteria of the code;
2) The construction community is equally charged with abiding by the code; and
3) Building officials review the submitted plans and complete inspections prior to issuing the certificate of compliance.

Compliance paths include both prescriptive and performance approaches. REScheck may be used to demonstrate compliance.

Commercial

Compliance is determined at the local level by local building inspectors as part of an application review and inspection process. Compliance is addressed in three distinct ways:
1) Registered architects and engineers at the design level are charged by state law with abiding by design criteria of the code;
2) The construction community is equally charged with abiding by the code; and
3) Building officials review the submitted plans and complete inspections prior to issuing the certificate of compliance.

Plan review and construction inspection, although performed by the local building official, is also required of the engineers/architects of record when buildings exceed 35,000 feet3 of interior volume.

Compliance paths include both prescriptive and performance approaches and COMcheck may be used to demonstrate compliance.

Eliminate Weakening Amendments

   

Add Strengthening Amendments

  In May 2009, the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) approved Appendix 120AA as an optional amendment to the 7th Edition Massachusetts Building Code - 780 CMR. This optional "stretch code" was developed in response to the call for improved local building energy efficiency in the state. Towns and cities may adopt Appendix 120AA as an alternative to the base energy efficiency requirements of 780 CMR and the forthcoming 8th Edition Massachusetts Building Code that will be based on the 2009 IECC (Massachusetts is required by the Green Communities Act of 2008 to adopt each new IECC edition within one year of its publication).
The appendix, which includes both a residential and commercial stretch code, is designed to achieve 30% greater energy savings than the 2006 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 model codes, or about 15% greater energy savings than the 2009 IECC.  The residential elements of the stretch code are based on compliance with the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR standard, and the commercial elements are based on the New Building Institute’s (NBI) Core Performance guidelines.   Effective beginning in the summer of 2009, Appendix 120AA will function as a local option code and once it goes into effect, municipalities will be able to adopt it.
 

Allow Innovation at the Local Level 

 

Until recently, Massachusetts had a restrictive code that prohibited above code adoption. The Massachusetts General Laws stated that a jurisdiction could appeal for more restrictive standards due to special circumstances. In May 2009, however, the state adopted the 120.AA ‘Stretch’ Energy Code as an appendix to the state code, 780 CMR. 60-70 towns have expressed interest in adopting it. Massachusetts is considered a “Dillion Rule” state, a state which prohibits local jurisdictions from going beyond state codes.

Set Milestones

   

Adopt Green Codes

State Wide Standard:
Leading by Example, 2007,   Public Building Energy Standards, 2008

Description:
The Massachusetts Leading by Example program oversees and coordinates Massachusetts state agencies, University of Massachusetts campuses, state and community colleges, to reduce environmental impact through the use of clean energy and efficient buildings.  The Public Building Energy Standards sets a reduction goal for greenhouse gasses as well as reduced energy usage per FY2004 baseline. For all buildings where the state pays for energy, energy reduction goals are: 20% by 2012, and 35% by 2020. Water reduction goals are also set at 10% by 2012, and 15% by 2020. All new State construction must also meet "Mass. LEED Plus" standards as established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Sustainable Design Roundtable. Currently, this means: LEED Certification (for projects larger than 20,000 ft2), 20% better energy performance than Mass. code, third party commissioning, 50% reduction in outdoor water use/20% reduction in indoor use (per standard baseline projections), and conformance with one of four "smart growth criteria".

Energy Standard:
Commercial LEED Certification:  below is summarized from LEED New Construction (NC), details vary according to certification program. Mandatory: minimum 10% compliance beyond ASHRAE 90.1-2007, or use of NBI's Core Performance or one of ASHRAE's Advanced Energy Design Guidelines. LEED options include: optimize energy performance, on-site renewable energy, enhanced commissioning, enhanced refrigerant management, measurement & verification, and green power.  In Addition: Decreased energy consumption in existing building 35% by 2020.  New construction over 20,000 ft2 20% more efficient than State Energy code, and LEED certification.
 

August 2009

Resources:


ICLEI - international association of local governments and their associations
www.iclei.org
Massachusetts has thirty-five local government members:
Amherst, Ayer, Belmont, Boston, Cambridge, Carver, Devens, Greenfield,  Hingham, Hull, Ipswich,  Kingston, Lexington, Lincoln, Medford, Nantucket, Natick, Newburyport, Newton, Northampton,  Pittsfield, Provincetown, Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners, Reading, Salem,  Shutesbury, Spencer, Springfield, Waltham, Wellesley, Williamstown, Winchester, Worcester, Yonkers, and Yorktown.

Mayors Climate Protection Center
www.usmayors.org
Twenty-eight Massachusetts Mayors have signed The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement:
(City)
Amesbury, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Greenfield, Hopkinton, Hull, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Medford, Melrose, New Bedford, Newburyport, Newton, Pittsfield, Provincetown, Salem, Somerville, Springfield, Sudbury, Truro, and Worcester.
 

International Codes Council (ICC) Regional and State Chapters:
Ms. Janice Moy
ICC Chicago District Office
4051 West Flossmoor Road
Country Club Hills, IL 60478
Phone: 1-888-422-7233, Ext. 4525
JMoy@iccsafe.org

Ms. Dorothy M. Harris
Vice President, State & Local Government Relation
48 Dublin Drive
Niskayuna, NY 12309
Phone: 1-888-422-7233, Ext. 7722
DHarris@iccsafe.org
 

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