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Author: Lindsey Hoover

Ohio Building Code Changes Take Effect March 1, 2024

Ohio Building Code Literature

On March 1, 2024, Ohio will roll out the 2024 Ohio Building Code which is based on the 2021 International Model Code. This initiative will impact owners interested in renovating existing or constructing new facilities. Simonson Construction Services, Inc. has been studying this new information for over 18 months. We participated in multiple meetings with the State of Ohio during the code adoption process and were successful in advocating for a valuable exemption to decrease the burden of these changes for factory uses. 

The following is a snapshot of important changes stakeholders can expect moving forward.

Major changes to the code include:

  • A significantly updated energy code. Ohio moved from the 2012 version to the 2021 version (Based on ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019).
  • Multiple changes to the accessibility code (ADA) moving from ICC-A117.1,2009 to ICC-A117.1,2017.
  • An entirely separate Ohio Existing Building Code (OEBC). This is the first time that existing buildings in Ohio have been regulated by a separate book.
  • Numerous clarifications including criteria for businesses serving alcohol, greenhouse uses, and restroom counts.

The above changes will have major impacts on upcoming and future projects for Ohio’s construction industry.

(the following infographics were developed by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy) 

Energy code updates will:

Status of State Energy Code Adoption Map Summary - Commercial

  • Update mechanical system requirements from ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2019 
  • Raise Ohio’s compliance to the same level as states in green. This change makes Ohio the 12th State, and the only state in the central US to adopt this version.   
  • Increase insulation requirements significantly (in some case up to 40%) 

Chart for Estimated Improvement in Residential and Commercial Energy Codes

    Owners can expect the following accessibility code (i.e. ADA code) changes, where applicable: 

    • Increased radius dimensions inside of spaces 
    • Adult changing stations in family-use restrooms  

    Multiple paths to compliance could lead to drastically different outcomes for your facility when addressing the existing building codes. A misinterpretation of the new book could require your entire facility to be brought up to the current code. 

    When considering the clarifications 

    • Businesses selling alcohol will have specific requirements tied to the alcohol content. 
    • There will be increased flexibility to use unisex, multi-gender, and other restroom solutions to achieve code-required minimum restroom counts. 

    The 2024 Ohio Building Code will require a steep learning curve for owners and professionals in the construction industry. Fortunately, experts at Simonson Construction have dedicated time and energy to deciphering these changes and are prepared to guide you through the code language. 

    Contact us to learn more about how these code changes impact your project. 

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