For years builders and regulators have been challenged with finding safe and efficient ways to build energy-tight homes in our cold climate. Over the last few years, many lessons have been learned about ventilation, make-up air and combustion air and a great deal of change has been occurring in the realm of residential construction requirements.
Now for the first time in 11 years, there is a new Minnesota Mechanical Code for residential construction. Among many other changes, now builders and homeowners have more choices in natural gas water heaters for single family and twin homes, including:
Why did the Minnesota Mechanical Code change now?
To prepare for ongoing safe and efficient building practices in Minnesota, a Mechanical Code Advisory Committee was formed. The committee was comprised of representatives from the Minnesota Department of Administration, builders, trades people, code officials, CenterPoint Energy and other utilities. Among other changes that have resulted from the work of this committee, Minnesota has now joined many other states in adopting the following portions of the year 2000 version of the International Code group:
International Residential Code (IRC) adopted March 2003
International Building Code (IBC) adopted March 2003
International Fire Code (IFC) adopted March 2003
International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) adopted September 2004
International Mechanical Code (IMC) adopted September 2004
How does the new Minnesota Mechanical Code fit in with these International Codes?
In 2004, Minnesota adopted the 2000 International Mechanical Code. However, to accommodate Minnesota's special cold-climate needs, it was necessary to include a number of amendments. What is now commonly referred to as the new Minnesota Mechanical Code is actually the combination of the International Mechanical Code with these cold-climate amendments.
Do these changes only affect residential construction?
Although the new Minnesota Mechanical Code affects both residential and commercial applications, this section of our Web site was developed to address changes affecting residential construction only.