News & Updates

Virginia’s Next Building Code: Update on the 2021 Code Development Cycle

Nov 2, 2022 | HBAV News

Earlier this year, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development began the process of adopting Virginia’s next building code (the “2021 Code”).
Over the last several months, the HBA of Virginia has represented the housing industry at 41 code hearings, reviewed over 180 code proposals, and provided testimony and written public comment in support and opposition of the proposals that affect single- and multi-family builders’ ability to met the demand for new housing at all price points.
The Board of Housing and Community Development met on October 3rd to cast their first (but arguably, most important) vote on the proposals that have been submitted this year. Continue reading below to learn more about what the Board voted on, including some of the proposals that they voted to “disapprove”:
  • Require Virginia to adopt the full 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) – Read more about the significant changes included in the 2021 IECC
  • Prohibiting natural gas in homes
  • Increase wall insulation requirements to R-30 or R20+5
  • Require new residential structures to use “bird friendly glass” approved by the American Bird Conservancy, which the vast majority of manufacturers either do not have available or would require a custom order with a 4-8 month lead time at a cost of approximately $1,900 per window.
  • Mandatory residential fire sprinkler systems for all new one- and two-family dwellings and townhomes (Read more about our concerns with this proposal)
While the final adoption of Virginia’s 2021 Code won’t occur until mid-2023, the Board meeting (and their votes on the proposals) provided the housing industry with invaluable insight into what will be adopted into the 2021 Code and what will likely not be adopted. The Board meeting also provided assurance that common-sense improvements to the code and housing affordability will be the Board’s top priority for the 2021 Code.
Click here to read the HBA of Virginia’s update on the 2021 Code Development Cycle and the code requirements that were approved and disapproved by the Board earlier this month.
If you have any questions about the status of Virginia’s building code update – or if you would like to get involved with our building code advocacy efforts in the future, please contact HBA of Virginia’s VP of Government Affairs Andrew Clark.