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Building Code Council adopts emergency rule to accommodate builder concerns

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The State Building Code Council (SBCC) adopted an emergency rule affecting heat pumps in response to concerns from the homebuilding industry.

Because of the current global microchip shortage, many home builders are unable to obtain certain components for residential heat pumps that are frequently installed to achieve the required energy credits in the residential energy code. Upon being notified of this problem by the homebuilding industry, the State Building Code Council (SBCC) adopted the emergency rule.

The rule, filed on October 21, specifies that homes can still receive the certificate of occupancy and the required energy credits while waiting on installation of the outdoor compressor unit.

According to a notice from the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, home builders were concerned that projects already permitted and in construction would be unable to obtain a certificate of occupancy without being able to secure the residential heat pumps. That situation could also affect financing.

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