Sustainable Codes

Desired Trend

Up

Current Trend

Steady
Baseline (2013): 86.8%
Current (2017): 87.2%

Theme Green

Definition

Percent of local governments that have an energy conservation code and/or a green construction code

Why is it Important?

Local governments are uniquely positioned to promote sustainable development through local codes and ordinances. There are two model codes that local governments may adopt to improve the sustainability of buildings in their communities: the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). These two codes are developed by national experts and may be adopted in whole or in part by local governments. The IECC provides a choice of prescriptive or performance-based standards for energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings, and addresses topics such as lighting, heating and cooling, and insulation. The IECC is released every three years, with each version requiring higher levels of energy efficiency. The 2015 IECC is about 11 percent more energy efficient than the 2012 IECC. The 2012 IECC is considered to be about the same, 11 percent, more energy efficient than the 2009 IECC, and 24 to 32 percent more energy efficient than the 2006 IECC.1,2,3 The IgCC is a relatively new code, first released in 2012, that provides standards for the design and construction process including materials and resource use, indoor environmental quality, and energy and water efficiency. This indicator measures the percent of local governments (cities and counties) that have adopted the IECC or the IgCC, as well as the percent of local governments where developments are subject to statewide IECC requirements.

How are we Doing?

As of 2017, at least 87.2 percent of the local governments in the St. Louis region have the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which corresponds to 177 out of 203 local governments. As of 2017, none of the local governments in the St. Louis region have adopted the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

In the state of Illinois, the Energy Efficient Buildings Act requires all construction occurring in jurisdictions that require building permits to comply with the 2015 IECC. Due to this law, all local governments in the St. Louis region in Illinois are considered to have the 2015 IECC. The Capital Development Board and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity updated the Illinois Energy Conservation Code from the 2012 IECC with the new code/2015 IECC effective January 1, 2016. Additionally, three local governments in the Missouri portion of the St. Louis region have adopted the 2015 IECC: the cities of St. Charles, O’Fallon, and Clayton.

Three local governments have adopted the 2012 IECC, 50 have adopted the 2009 IECC, and 34 local governments adopted the 2009 IECC for some buildings (either for residential buildings or commercial buildings, but not both). There are 18 local governments that have adopted the 2006 IECC or an earlier version for some or all buildings. Notably, the 2012 IECC is 24 to 32 percent more energy efficient than the 2006 IECC. There are seven local governments in the St. Louis region that do not require any standards related to energy efficiency, and an additional 19 local governments for which data are not available. One limitation to this indicator is that it does not account for the level of code compliance or enforcement. As one study of energy code compliance in Illinois found, some communities have a lack of political will to adopt the state-mandated energy conservation code, and others lack the resources (staff) to enforce the code.4

 
 

Geographic Level

St. Louis eight county bi-state region, including Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties and city of St. Louis in Missouri and Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois. View map.

Notes

1Zhang, J et al. Energy and Energy Cost Savings Analysis of the 2015 IECC for Commercial Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy, August 2015; accessed on 15 March 2016 at https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2015_IECC_Commercial_Analysis.pdf

2Zhang, J et al. Energy and Energy Cost Savings Analysis of the IECC for Commercial Buildings, U.S. Department of Energy, August 2013; accessed on 4 June 2014 at http://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/PNNL-22760.pdf

3U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy and Cost Savings for New Single- and Multifamily Homes: A Comparison of the 2006, 2009, and 2012 Editions of the IECC, April 2012; accessed on 5 June 2014 at http://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/documents/NationalResidentialCostEffectiveness.pdf

4Association of Professional Energy Consultants, Inc. Measuring the Baseline Compliance Rate for Residential and Non-Residential Buildings in Illinois Against the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, 30 June 2011; accessed on 5 June 2014 at http://www.illinois.gov/dceo/whyillinois/KeyIndustries/Energy/Documents/FinalReport_BaselineComplianceStudy.pdf

 

Data Sources

International Code Council and East-West Gateway Council of Governments