Building Energy Conservation Act
(Act 222 of 1980)
The Department of Labor and Industry, is responsible for the enforcement of the Building Energy Conservation Law, P.L. 1203, Act 222 (PDF), which applies to virtually all new buildings designed and constructed after July 1, 1981. The Act directs the Department to exercise specific authority in building construction to assure that such construction is performed using materials and techniques that will provide for energy conservation in the future operation and maintenance of buildings.
This Act places the responsibility of energy conservation standards on the registered design professional for the design of the project and inspection of the building.
If a registered design professional is not retained for the project, the builder is required to assume these responsibilities. The builder is also responsible for certification of compliance for the completed project.
Scope of Energy Conservation Requirements
The Building Energy Conservation Act applies to any structure that provides facilities or shelter for public assembly or for educational, business, mercantile, institutional, warehouse or residential occupancy, or industrial use including, but not limited to, those portions of factory and industrial occupancy such as office space. The exceptions are:
- Buildings and structures or portions thereof whose peak design rate of energy usage is less than one watt per square foot or 3.5 BTU/hr per square foot of floor area for all purposes.
- Structures or those portions of structures which house equipment, machinery or processing which generates substantial heat during the normal operation of the equipment, machinery or processing. Substantial generation of heat shall mean the generation of more than 6 watts per square foot of floor area.
- Buildings which are neither heated or cooled.
- Historic buildings.
- Buildings owned by the federal government.
- All units subject to the act of May 11, 1972 (P.L. 286, No. 70), known as the "Industrialized Housing Act".
- All units subject to Title VI (Public Law 93-383), referred to as the Federal Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974.
- Buildings which are constructed primarily of tree logs and only incidentally of other materials.
- Buildings under design contract prior to effective date of Act 222, July 1, 1981.
The Act also applies to any addition to an existing building or the rehabilitation of an existing building when more than 25% of the gross floor area or volume of the entire building will be rebuilt. The provisions of the Act only apply to the portion of the building that is being added to or renovated (not to the entire building).
The Building Energy Conservation Act mandated the Department of Labor and Industry to promulgate energy conservation standards by July 1, 1982 to replace those contained in Chapter 2 of the Act. The Department, after public hearing and approval by the Building Energy Conservation Committee, adopted by reference ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90A-1980 and ASHRAE/IES 90B-1975 standards. These standards apply to structures designed and built after July 1, 1982, which provide facilities or shelter for public assembly, educational, business, mercantile, institutional, warehouse or industrial use.
Structures designed and built after July 1, 1981 and prior to July 1, 1982 must comply with the energy conservation standards contained in Chapter 2 of Act 222.
For all construction covered by Act 222 requirements, a “Certificate of Design” form (LIBI-455) must be submitted to the Labor and Industry Buildings Section at the time of Fire and Panic Act plan submission. Click here to access a copy of this form.
If “BUILDING DESIGN INFORMATION” is checked under “DESIGN CRITERIA” on form LIBI-455, the applicant must also complete and submit the two-page “Building Design Information” form (LIBI-468). Click here to access a copy of this form.
If “ALTERNATIVE DESIGN CRITERIA” is checked under “DESIGN CRITERIA” on form LIBI-455, the applicant must also prepare and attach an energy analysis that meets the requirements of ASHRAE STANDARD 90B-75.
If Fire and Panic approval is sought for a building that is exempted from Act 222 requirements (see exceptions listed above), a “Building Energy Conservation Act Exception” form (LIBI-465) must be completed and submitted at the time of plan submission. Click here to access a copy of this form.
The “Final Certification of Compliance” form (LIBI-456) must be submitted upon completion of construction. The Department will not issue occupancy permit will not be issued, if this form has not been submitted. It is recommended that this form be given to the assigned Department safety inspector at the time of final inspection. Click here to access a copy of this form.
Copies of all Act 222 forms may be obtained by mail or via a phone call directed to:
PA Department of Labor & Industry
Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety
1600 L&I Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120