North Carolina Building Codes and Contacts

The following information is reprinted with permission from the Building Codes Assistance Project:
Current Commercial Code
North Carolina climate zones

2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code
Based on the 2009 IECC with substantial strengthening amendments; ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 is an acceptable compliance path through Chapter 5 of the 2009 IECC.
passed 6/23/2011; effective 1/1/2012

The commercial provisions of this code emphasize building envelope enhancements. The new mi

nimum requirements raise energy efficiency levels through slightly higher R-values for ceilings, walls, floors and slabs, slightly better window performance with lower U-factor and SHGCs standards, and increased reliance on efficient lighting and other improvements. The new code also requires designers to select at least one of six additional energy efficiency options for every building.

North Carolina has also adopted an amendment to allow the use of ASHRAE 90.1-2010 as a complianc

e option for commercial buildings.

Current Residential Code

2012 North Carolina Energy Conservation Code
Based on the 2009 IECC with substantial strengthening amendments
passed 6/23/2011; effective 1/1/2012

Compared to the previous iteration of North Carolina’s code, significant improvements were made in the areas of envelope leakage reduction, duct tightness, window performance, wall insulation, and lighting efficiency. The 2012 NCECC also offers a voluntary appendix that defines a High Efficiency Residential Option (HERO) for those builders and contractors that are seeking to deliver a home that achieves 30 percent energy savings beyond the current NCECC. This alternative offers prescriptive paths that require slightly better insulation, fenestration, air sealing, equipment, and lighting packages.

Read more about:

Climate Zones: 3A, 4A, 5A

Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Regulatory (and Legislative): New code editions are generally promulgated by rule after being reviewed by the North Carolina Building Code Council. The state legislature, however, also retains the power pass legislation updating the state’s building codes.

Code Change Cycle

The North Carolina Building Code Council reviews editions of the ICC codes, including the IECC, as they are published on three-year cycles, but there is no automatic update requirement.

Next Code Update


Renee Hutcheson
Energy Architect, Raleigh Region
North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality

Billy Hinton, Jr.
Chief Energy Code Consultant
North Carolina Department of Insurance

Lauren Westmoreland
Energy Codes Manager
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA)

This information was compiled by the Building Codes Assistance Project, and used with their permission.