Building Energy Code for the District of Columbia

June 11, 2020


NOTE: 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 16, 2011 District of Columbia’s Construction Codes Coordinating Board (CCCB) voted to adopt the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).  Starting March 28, 2014 with District of Columbia has adopted amended version of 2012 International Codes (I-Codes) published by the International Code Council (ICC), and 2011 National Electrical Code (NEC) published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

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.  The code is mandatory throughout District of Columbia.

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.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: District of Columbia
Incentive Type: Building Energy Code
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Residential Code: 2012 IECC with amendments
Commercial Code: 2012 IECC with amendments, comparable to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and ASHRAE 90.1-2010.
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.
Jurisdictions: Mandatory across the District


Address: 1100 4th Street, SW
Washington DC 20009
Phone: (202) 442-4400

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.