State Buildings to Meet Higher Standards 

LB 755, passed by the Unicameral and signed into law by Governor Mike Johanns during the last legislative session, requires all new state and state-funded buildings to meet the 1998 International Energy Conservation Code. The Code also applies to additions and modifications to state buildings. Nebraska becomes the first state to adopt the 1998 Code according to the Building Code Assistance Project. 

The International Code replaces the 1995 Model Energy Code, which has been the basis for Energy Office incentives such as low-interest Dollar and Energy Saving Loans and Mortgages. The International Energy Conservation Code was developed with the goal of conserving energy without unnecessarily increasing construction costs or restricting the use of new materials, products or methods of construction. The Code is updated regularly based on comments from code officials and others. 

The new law also extends minimum energy efficiency requirements to all other new buildings that are built using public funds such as low and moderate income housing as well as some local government buildings. 

The Department of Administrative Services has authority to waive or modify code requirements as needed. The Energy Office is writing rules and regulations to address procedural questions in applying the Code. The proposed rules will address such issues as when in the design process the plans should be submitted, how should requests for variances to the Code be handled and should plans drawn by professional engineers and architects be reviewed. The rules should be completed by the end of the year.

More information about the International Code is available from Kirk Conger in the Energy Office.

Return to the Summer 1999 Newsletter