City Council unanimously voted to adopt modern building codes in Philadelphia and the bill was promptly signed into law by Mayor Kenney. The 2018 International Codes represent an increase in energy efficiency from our prior codes of over 30 percent.

In a matter of months, Philadelphia transformed from lagging nearly a decade behind its peers to becoming a nationwide leader in modern code adoption. This move is one important step toward the city meeting its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

This change in Philadelphia applies to commercial and multifamily buildings, as most residential buildings are still governed by the state’s Uniform Construction Code, which adopted the 2015 Codes with just a few amendments.

As a leader, Philadelphia needed resources to ensure smooth compliance and enforcement. With the support of the Sustainable Development Fund, Green Building United provided trainings and support in developing guidance documents to support energy code compliance and enforcement.

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Green Building United and its partners offer trainings and networking opportunities to support commercial energy code changes. Training for and communication between the architecture, engineering, and construction industries and the code enforcement community is essential for the City’s full energy and energy cost savings potential to be realized.

Updated Energy Code Compliance Information

Based on updated energy code requirements, the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses & Inspections has issued new documents to help inform permit holders (including contractors and design professionals) of the new processes and documentation standards. These documents also highlight the new certifications required by professionals retained to conduct the necessary system testing and commissioning.

To get started, refer to either the Commercial Energy Code Compliance Fact Sheet or the Residential Energy Compliance Fact Sheet to determine the specific requirements and the necessary supplemental documents.

Also available for reference is the What Code Do I Use? fact sheet as well as the Energy Code Compliance Paths Flowchart.

The following Energy Code Checklists utilized by L&I Permit Issuance staff are also now available for review: