News Brief

NBI Releases Code Overlay for Electrification

Designed to layer on top of ASHRAE 90.1 and IECC, these provisions transition buildings away from onsite fossil fuel combustion.

New Buildings Institute (NBI) wants to help jurisdictions bite off however much electrification they can chew.

Recently released model code language offers provisions for requiring all-electric buildings and alternative provisions for requiring electric-ready buildings. Cities and towns can layer whichever version of this “decarbonization overlay” they are ready for on top of the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE 90.1.  

“Recognizing that not every jurisdiction is looking to require all-electric construction in their next code cycle, the [overlay] is designed to meet jurisdictions where they are,” said NBI Director of Codes, Kim Cheslak. Therefore, the overlay presents options for encouraging electrification (or paving the way for future electrification), while still allowing mixed-fuel buildings.

For example, there are provisions that require electric branch circuits and a condensate drain to accommodate electric heat pumps, even if a gas water heater is chosen. Buildings must be solar- and energy-storage-ready. And demand-responsive thermostats are required, regardless of the fuel source.

Jurisdictions might also choose to mix and match provisions—requiring all-electric water heating, for example, but still allowing combustion fuels for space heating.

The code language covers both new residential and new commercial construction; future versions may tackle existing buildings.

For more information:

New Buildings Institute

Published October 4, 2021

Pearson, C. (2021, September 20). NBI Releases Code Overlay for Electrification . Retrieved from

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