Enforcement for new 1- and 2-family homes will begin in October
Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Clean Energy Future Act provisions regarding adoption and enforcement of a residential building code to one- and two-family residences across the state have taken effect. The State Fire Marshal Office’s code enforcement program will begin in October. In the interim, the State will contract with code inspectors, establish a network of issuing agents where the construction permits can be obtained and finalize the process for payments.
“Enforcing building codes will make new homes safe and more energy-efficient, and will help assure the quality of residential construction meets minimum standards,” said State Fire Marshal and Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Leslie A. Newman.
New State Fire Marshal’s Office regulations adopt the 2009 International Residential Code and the 2006 International Energy Code. These building codes will only apply to new construction of residential structures. Nonresidential structures, such as out buildings and unattached garages, are not covered. Renovation of existing structures, no matter how extensive, is also not covered. Sprinkler requirements have not been adopted, although a city or county is free to adopt a sprinkler requirement.
Effective October 1, 2010, the State Fire Marshal’s Office will issue residential building permits using a system similar to the electrical inspection program that it presently operates. Owners and licensed contractors will obtain a construction permit from the local issuing agents. Inspectors will then inspect residences during construction to ensure code compliance.
Cities and counties that presently enforce a building code that is current within seven years (the 2003 or 2006 edition of the International Residential Code will qualify) can notify the State Fire Marshal’s Office and continue local enforcement. Local codes may be more stringent that the state adopted code. Cities and counties may also choose to have no minimum one- and two-family residential building code and no inspections to ensure quality home construction by a two-thirds opt-out vote of their governing bodies.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance
The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. http://www.tn.gov/commerce/