Building & Energy Codes

Building codes establish minimum requirements for the health and safety of the structures in our community. The International Code Council publishes new building codes on a three-year cycle, the City of Fort Worth typically adopts new codes every other cycle. The city has currently adopted the 2021 International Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fuel Gas, Fire, and Existing Building Codes, the 2015 Energy Conservation Codes and the 2018 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code. The adopted electrical code is the 2020 National Electrical Code. Each code has locally adopted amendments.

The City of Fort Worth Building Official is Allison Gray: 817-392-8030 or email allison.gray@fortworthtexas.gov

Electrical Code

The City of Fort Worth has adopted the 2020 National Electrical Code effective January 1, 2021.

Energy Code

In June 2001, the State of Texas adopted the first statewide energy conservation code with the intent of regulating the design and construction of buildings for the effective use of energy.

Since that time there have been several updates with the current standard being the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). In the City of Fort Worth the two codes that can be used for compliance with the state's energy conservation mandate are the 2015 IECC and the 2013 ASHRAE 90.1. Either code can be used, but once selected they must be used in their entirety. To make documenting energy code compliance easier, computer programs have been developed that provide reports for the various codes, methods, and areas of compliance. The most common program is the COMcheck software available for free from the Unites States department of Energy. For approval of an alternate method or program please contact the City of Fort Worth Building Code Administrator.

A complete energy code document submittal will depend on the scope of work and can include up to 4 separate parts --- Envelope Compliance, Interior Lighting Compliance, Exterior Lighting Compliance, and Mechanical Compliance. See below for when each compliance report is required.

  • Envelope Compliance - Buildings that are heated or cooled have to comply with the envelope provision of the energy code to ensure that energy isn't wasted through the enclosing walls, windows and doors. If changes are made to the exterior walls, window, or doors an envelope compliance report is required.
  • Exterior Lighting Compliance - Any lighting that is added or altered on the exterior of the building is subject to the efficiency and lighting allowance and an Exterior Lighting Compliance report will be required.
  • Interior Lighting Compliance - When lighting is added or altered in a buildings interior it is subject to efficiency standards and a Interior Lighting Compliance report is required  
  • Mechanical Compliance - Any time heating, ventilating, air conditioning, or water heating is installed or altered a Mechanical Compliance report is required.

For proper document information and help preparing these documents, visit EnergyCodes.gov.

The rules for engaging a registered engineer are defined by The Texas Board of Professional Engineers.

Documents that are not required to be prepared by licensed professionals may be prepared by the applicant, a designer, draftsman or consultant.

Purchasing Code Books

You may purchase code books through the International Code Council by calling 1-800-786-4452 or through their website or other Internet sources.

Other City Code References:

  • Zoning Regulations: Appendix A
  • Development Standards: Appendix A, Chapter 6
  • Landscaping: Appendix A, Chapter 6, Article 3
  • Subdivision: Chapter 31

View the fire code