Commercial Building Energy Standards

The Commercial Building Energy Standards (CBES), enacted into law in 2006, is the energy code for all commercial, and residential buildings not covered by the Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES), that apply for a state or local permit in Vermont beginning January 1, 2007. This code does not apply to farm structures as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 4413. The CBES uses the 2005 Vermont Guidelines for Energy Efficient Commercial Construction as the stand alone energy code for Vermont and is based on the International Energy Conservation Code®, 2004 Supplement. The CBES requires that a builder, or a licensed professional engineer or architect, certify that the commercial building meets the Vermont Guidelines. To meet the certification requirements, a CBES Certificate and a CBES Affidavit must be completed and sent to the Department of Public Service and the local Town Clerk of the town in which the property is located. The CBES Certificate and a CBES Affidavit are available from the Department of Public Service. The certification process applies to all new commercial building construction including additions to existing buildings. Alterations, renovations, or repairs on commercial buildings are required to meet the Vermont Guidelines, but are not required to complete the certification process. The Department of Public Service is available to answer questions on the Vermont Guidelines and other general questions about the requirements of the Commercial Building Energy Standards. The CBES Certificate and Affidavit forms are available on line at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/energy-efficiency/ee_commstandards.html or by calling 1- 800-642-3281 or 802-828-4056. The Vermont Guidelines include requirements for review of construction documents and inspection of energy features in sections 104 and 105. These sections do not apply to the Division of Fire Safety permit review and inspection process, but these sections are included in the Vermont Guidelines by the Department of Public Service to facilitate enforcement by a municipality that chooses to adopt local energy ordnances. The Division of Fire Safety continues to require certification in accordance with the Vermont Guidelines for only new state-funded buildings or additions, adopted under amendment to the International Building Code, as it appears on page 15 of the Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code. Clarity is provided in the Vermont Guidelines that where penetrations are limited for fire rated stairways that electric resistance space heating can be used (section 803.1.2) and that emergency power systems are exempt from the Vermont Guidelines (section 806.2). Where there is a conflict between a safety code adopted by the Division of Fire Safety and the Vermont Guidelines the safety code shall apply.

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