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Codes and Standards

Building codes and standards are sets of regulations governing the design, construction, alteration and maintenance of structures and equipment. Building codes and standards specify how buildings and equipment must be constructed or perform, and are written in mandatory, enforceable language. Usually, states and local governments adopt and enforce building codes and standards for their jurisdictions.



  1. Remember

    • Define building codes and list professionals who apply building codes.
    • Define an industry standard, give an example of an industry standard, and explain how a building standard is different from a building code.
  2. Understand

    • Explain the purpose of building codes and list at least five building professions who apply codes in their work.  
    • Define a model code and list five examples of model codes.
    • Identify key elements of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) related to building science.
  3. Apply

    • Demonstrate an understanding of how a model code is developed and adopted, using a model energy code as an example.
    • Demonstrate your understanding of how an industry standard is developed, using an energy standard as an example.
  4. Analyze

    • Distinguish how model code adoption by legislation, regulation, and a local government are different by using the model energy code as an example.
    • For a residential building analyze five specific model codes (for your climate zone and local area) with corresponding ENERGY STAR requirements for the same building measures.

Teaching Materials