—Washington state sets public hearing dates regarding the effective date of 2009 State Energy Code, CCAB endorses DPD recommendations to move ahead now with nonresidential 2009 Seattle Energy Code
After deciding on June 11, 2010 to delay the effective date of the 2009 Washington State Energy Code (WSEC), the Washington State Building Code Council (WSBCC) met again on June 30, 2010 and endorsed January 1, 2011 as a preferred effective date.
According to the WSBCC website, public hearings on the new effective date for the 2009 WSEC will be held on September 10, 2010 in Spokane and September 24, 2010 in Olympia. The WSBCC would then meet on October 15, 2010 to consider the public comments and make a firm decision on the effective date for the 2009 WSEC. This date could be anytime from as early as October 29, 2010 (the end of the current WSBCC emergency rule) to as late as April 1, 2011. For further information on the effective date for the 2009 WSEC, visit the WSBCC website, www.sbcc.wa.gov.
There have been no changes in the text of the 2009 WSEC that the WSBCC had previously adopted on November 20, 2009. Copies of the 2009 WSEC can be purchased from the Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) at (360) 628-8669 or from the WABO website, www.wabo.org.
In response to the WSBCC actions, DPD accepted written comments through July 5, 2010 on options for the 2009 Seattle Energy Code. Four written comments were submitted addressing limited topics. There were no comments recommending that the 2009 Seattle Energy Code be proposed as amendments to the 2006 Seattle Energy Code (rather than as amendments to the 2009 Washington State Energy Code). DPD held a fifteenth public review meeting on July 6, 2010 to review the written comments. Based on the recommendations from that meeting, DPD made further limited modifications to the staff draft for the 2009 Seattle Energy Code and forwarded those to the DPD Construction Codes Advisory Board (CCAB). CCAB met on July 15, 2010, suggested one minor editorial change to clarify the intent of footnote two to Table 13-1, supported moving ahead with an updated Seattle Energy Code with amendments to the 2009 Washington State Energy Code (as opposed to further amendments to the 2006 Energy Code), then unanimously endorsed the revised staff recommendations for the 2009 Seattle Energy Code, and recommended that DPD move ahead with adoption.
City staff has prepared a draft ordinance for a 2009 Seattle Energy Code based on the Seattle amendments to the 2009 Washington State Energy Code and has been working through internal review. The Law Department has provided some suggestions of alternate language to clarify the intent, so it is likely that there will be some additional wording modifications.
The next step will be for DPD to forward recommendations to the Mayor, most likely in late July. City Council would consider the recommendations after that, likely in August. If the ordinance is approved by the Seattle City Council and signed by the Mayor in September, the ordinance itself would be effective in October.
For nonresidential spaces, the intent is to have a grace period for the 2009 Seattle Energy Code that would end so as to coincide with the end of the grace period for other Seattle code updates. Consequently, applicants should pay attention to the progress of the Seattle Building Code ordinance. Any time within the grace period for the Seattle Building Code would likely be a safe time to submit a complete building permit application if you wanted to have a project vested to the 2006 Seattle Energy Code.
For residential spaces, the 2009 WSEC requirements would take effect on the date specified by the WSBCC. Since the 2009 WSEC requirements for residential spaces were finalized on November 20, 2009, there would not be any additional grace period.
City staff thanks everyone for their participation and contributions to the 2009 Seattle Energy Code. For further information, contact: