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State Building Code Council passes emergency rules to address supply chain issues

From the BIAW Blog

The Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) recently released two new emergency rules to address supply chain issues brought to its attention by BIAW and others in the industry.

Heat pumps

Deliveries for heat pumps are unpredictable and costs for these systems have increased up to $6,900. Due to the current global microchip shortage, it has been particularly difficult to source the outdoor portion of residential heat pumps.

One example is Gensco, the main distributor and manufacturer of HVAC products for the five-state Pacific Northwest region. They already have more than 20,000 HVAC heat pump units on backorder.

As we shared on Oct. 18, after receiving a request from BIAW, the SBCC adopted the following emergency rule to address the current heat pump shortage:

  1. Builders: For 120 days, you will still receive full credit (1.0 credits) for a heat pump system if you’ve installed the interior components of the heat pump but are awaiting the outdoor components.
  2. Building Officials: Temporary certificates of occupancy shall be granted even if the outdoor compressor component of the heat pump system is not yet installed (with the understanding that installation will occur once product arrives).

The SBCC posted the new emergency rule on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Gas fireplaces with continuously burning pilot lights

The global microchip shortage also affects our industry’s ability to comply with the energy code requirement banning continuously burning pilot lights in natural gas fireplaces. The SBCC posted another emergency rule on Wednesday, Oct. 20, to temporarily rescind this prohibition.


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