Skip to content

SBCC Proposed Code Changes


SHBA is taking an active role in opposing these code changes, but WE NEED YOUR INPUT TO BE SUCCESSFUL.


The Washington State Building Code Council is on the verge of passing the country’s most stringent and most expensive package of building codes and we must take action to protect our energy choice!


Three ways you can help:

  1. Add your name to a letter that will be submitted to the SBCC on behalf of SHBA members and partners. You can view the letter by tapping the image below.
  2. Sign up to testify on Sept. 29.
  3. Sign our petition.


TAKE ACTION using this online form.


What’s at stake?


These proposals would:

  • Eliminate the ability for home builders to install natural gas cost-effectively in new homes, eliminating energy choice in the state and pushing cooking with natural gas into extinction for new homes after July 1, 2023.
  • Require heat pumps as the preferred source for space and water heating in all new homes, increasing the up-front cost of a new home by $8,350. Worse yet, the true cost to the homeowner over their 30-year mortgage will surpass $25,000.
  • Require existing homes to upgrade their current HVAC systems to heat pumps if they increase the size of their original HVAC equipment. Estimates show that could cost homeowners a minimum of $23,000.
  • Add another $9,200 to the price of every new home for compliant windows and air leakage requirements.
  • Require all new homes with carports and garages have electric vehicle charging capabilities, regardless of the cost of upgrading electrical infrastructure, and without a direct mandate from the Washington State Legislature.
  • Ban heat pump water heaters from being placed in your garage. Instead, large utility closets would have to be installed, taking up usable square footage of new homes.
  • Cause building material costs to skyrocket due to the fire-resistive material required in the Wildland Urban Interface Code. Arbitrary limits on where homes can be built and how much vegetation can surround them would become regulation, even though this surpasses rulemaking authority of the State Building Code Council.

Altogether, this code package will increase the up-front cost of a new home by a minimum of $24,070.*

Over the lifetime of a mortgage, the homeowner can expect to pay $72,210 for these unfunded mandates.


Homeownership in crisis:

  • Only 15% of Washington families can afford to purchase a home in current market conditions.
  • Forty-nine percent of Washington families are housing-cost burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

At a time when Washington is already pricing 85% of families out of owning a new home, we simply cannot afford to pass these building codes.


TAKE ACTION using this online form.


* Based on cost estimates utilizing Option 1 of the R406 Tables. If Option 2 is adopted by the SBCC, up-front costs surpass $33,000

Scroll To Top