Building Energy Code for the District of Columbia (District of Columbia)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place District of Columbia
Name Building Energy Code for the District of Columbia
Incentive Type Building Energy Code
Applicable Sector Commercial, Residential
Eligible Technologies Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs

Code Change Cycle Codes are usually reviewed every three years with the publication of the new editions of the model code. The D.C. Green Building Act of 2006 requires that updated building codes be submitted to the City Council by January 1, 2010 and again every three years thereafter.
Commercial Code Builders may use either the 2008 D.C. Construction Codes (based on ASHRAE 90.1-2007) or the previous code adopted in 2003 (which is based on the 2000 IECC). Builders must use the 2008 D.C. codes beginning December 26, 2009.

Residential Code Builders may use either the 2008 D.C. Construction Codes (based on the "30% Solution", which is more stringent than the 2009 IECC) or the previous code adopted in 2003 (which is based on the 2000 IECC). Builders must use the 2008 D.C. codes beginning December 26, 2009.

Date added to DSIRE 2006-07-21
Last DSIRE Review 2013-01-24

References DSIRE[1]


Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The DC Energy Conservation Code is updated regularly as national codes are revised or if a change is proposed by local code enforcement officials, industry, design professionals, or other interested parties. Proposals are initiated by the District of Columbia Building Code Advisory Committee. On December 5, 2006, the DC City Council unanimously passed the DC Green Building Act. The 2008 D.C. Construction Codes adopted on December 3, 2008 as a result of this legislation were developed from ASHRAE 90.1-2007 for commercial buildings. The residential portion of the new code is based on the "30% Solution", designed to be roughly 30% more stringent than the standards in place for Virginia and Maryland. The new codes are immediately effective, but contain a one-year transition period during which building permit applications may use either the new code or the previous code. It is expected that starting in 2012, the code will require all commercial developments of 50,000 square feet or more to qualify for LEED certification.

Most recently, the District of Columbia’s Construction Codes Coordinating Board (CCCB) voted to adopt the 2012 IECC on December 16, 2011. Due to administrative review and legislative processes required to officially enact the code update, implementation is expected in late 2013.

Enforcement of the building code (all plan reviews, interpretations, and appeals) is the responsibility of the Building and Land Regulation Administration, which is a part of the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

In addition to DC's building codes, DC passed the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (B17-492) that establishes energy benchmarking requirements for government and private buildings. Starting in the fall of 2009, government buildings must be benchmarked using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. Annual benchmarking for private buildings will be phased in over four years, starting on January 1, 2010. The results will made available to the public on the Internet through the District of Columbia Department of the Environment (DDOE) website.

To learn more about the District of Columbia's building energy codes, visit the District Construction Codes Coordinating Board (CCB) web site.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Sharon Cooke
Department District Department of the Environment
Division Energy Division
Address 2000 14th Street, NW, 300 East
Place Washington, District of Columbia
Zip/Postal Code 20009
Phone (202) 673-6700


  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"