ALABAMA

Page updated as of April 2020

State Code Agency:

Alabama Building Commission
334-242-4082
http://bc.alabama.gov

For Energy Codes, the AL Dept. of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and the Alabama Energy and Residential Codes Board: http://adeca.alabama.gov/Divisions/energy/energycodes/Pages/default.aspx

Current Codes and Edition Adopted:

  • 2015 International Building Code (IBC)
  • 2015 International Code Council (IRC), with amendments
  • 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), with significant amendments (for residential and commercial) effective Oct. 1, 2016
  • 2013 ASHRAE 90.1 (alternative to the 2015 IECC for commercial) effective Jan. 1, 2016
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 also enforced by fire marshal
  • ICC500-2008

Applicability (statewide, local, limited): LIMITED

Plan review, inspection, and enforcement of the building code (commercial) is limited to state-owned and funded buildings, all public and certain private schools, hotel/motels, and movie theaters. Commercial Energy and Accessibility codes apply to additional buildings, mandatory state-wide. Combined residential and residential energy code is enforced at local level only, but mandatory state-wide.

State inspectors exist for projects under the jurisdiction of the state.

Amendments Disadvantaging Wood Construction:

The IECC and the IRC are amended, a summary is here: http://adeca.alabama.gov/Divisions/energy/energycodes/Pages/default.aspx

Next Update Cycle (amendment opportunities):

The State Building Code became the 2015 IBC on July 1, 2016 but with a 6-month grace period for certain buildings related to ongoing projects; all buildings regulated by the state building code must comply with the 2015 IBC after Jan. 1, 2017. The state commercial energy code is either the 2015 IECC or the 2013 ASHRAE 90.1 standard. A new residential energy code based on the 2015 IECC residential provisions was adopted in the fall of 2015 (effective 10/01/16 and further amended 10/07/16), along with ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings (effective 01-01-16). R-values and U-factors in the residential energy code were amended to reflect the 2009 IECC. The public is notified of the Commission's intended action in the Alabama Administrative Monthly, published by the Legislative Reference Service, Administrative Procedure Division. Very limited amendments are made and opportunities for input are limited.

Expected date most recent code will be adopted:

Energy codes were adopted in the fall of 2015 with effective dates of 01/01/16 (commercial energy) and 10-01-16 (residential energy). The previous state-wide mandatory residential building code (including the residential energy provisions, all based on the 2009 IRC) and the previous statewide commercial energy code (based on the 2009 IECC) were adopted only a few years back for the first time. They have a state commercial building code as well (based on the 2015 IBC) but for the most part that applies only to state-owned buildings and certain other occupancies. The State Building Code became the 2015 IBC (previously was the 2009 IBC) on July 1, 2016 but with a 6-month grace period for certain buildings related to ongoing projects; all buildings regulated by the state building code must comply with the 2015 IBC after Jan. 1, 2017.

Additional Notes:

Even though the base code is the 2015 IECC, the residential R-value and U-factor tables were modified to reflect the 2009 IECC. U-factors are set at 0.084 for climate zones 2-3, slightly higher than factors for climate zones 2-3 in the 2009 IRC. In addition, specifications for the standard reference in the performance approach permit the standard reference design to be the proposed system complying with minimum federal standards.