|State and local housing, property maintenance,
and building codes contain a wide array of legal requirements pertaining
to housing construction and maintenance. Below are listed
provisions found in model codes that address comfort. Housing
and Building Codes features a chart listing code provisions
on several healthy home attributes.
IPMC § 505.1: Water System/General. All sinks,
lavatories, laundry facilities, bathtubs, and showers must be supplied
with hot and cold running water.
IPMC § 602.2: Heating Facilities/Residential Occupancies.
Dwellings must be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining
a temperature of 65ºF (18ºC) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms,
and toilet rooms. (Inadequate heat may prompt residents to use cooking
appliances or other unsafe methods to heat the home.)
IPMC § 602.3: Heating Supply. Property owners who
rent one or more dwelling units on terms, express or implied, to furnish
heat must, [during time period to be specified], maintain a temperature
of 65ºF (18ºC) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet
IRC § 303.6: Required Heating. Every dwelling unit
must be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum
room temperature of 68ºF.
IBC § 1203.1: Temperature Control/Equipment
and Systems. Interior spaces must be provided with active or
passive heating systems capable of maintaining a minimum temperature of
IECC § 503.3.2.1: HVAC System/System Controls.
Each dwelling unit must be provided with thermostatic controls responding
to temperature within the dwelling unit. (Occupants can control the temperature
in the unit using a thermostat.)
IMC § 309.1: Space-Heating Systems. Interior spaces
must have heating systems capable of maintaining a minimum temperature
- The IPMC applies to existing residential and
commercial structures and premises.
- The IRC regulates the construction, alteration,
repair, use, and occupancy of detached one- and two-family dwellings
and townhouses not more than three stories high. While the section numbers
in the code are preceded by a letter, e.g., “R” for the
administrative, definitions, and building, planning, and construction
portions of the code, “N” for the energy conservation portion,
etc., those prefixes have been omitted from this document.
- The IBC governs new construction in residential
buildings four or more stories high.
- The IECC sets forth alternative compliance approaches
for new construction in both residential (one-and two-family buildings,
and multi-family buildings three or less stories in height) and commercial
buildings (including residential buildings four or more stories high).
For residential buildings, these approaches include a systems approach,
which considers the entire building and its energy-using systems as
a whole; an approach based on the performance of components in the building
envelope; an approach based upon the performance of the building envelope
as a whole; and others. Commercial buildings can comply using a prescriptive
approach, which sets standards for the building envelope, mechanical,
lighting, and service water-heating subsystems; a total building performance
approach; or an energy cost budget approach. Therefore, the code provisions
cited in this table may not be required in a particular building if
that building is constructed using an alternative approach to compliance.
- The IMC governs the design, installation, maintenance,
alteration, and inspection of permanently installed mechanical systems
used to control environmental conditions within buildings. The IMC does
not require the removal and replacement of existing mechanical systems,
although work performed on existing systems must conform to the code’s
requirements for new work.