(Originally published in the March 2008 Housing Journal)

Synopsis of “Green Code” Amendments

Currently builders may choose between the 2003 and 2006 NM Building Codes until the ’06 codes become mandatory on July 1, 2008. Layered on top of both the ’03 and ’06 codes are the additional building code amendments commonly called the “Green Codes”. These “Green Code” amendments apply to all permits pulled starting on February 25, 2008. The actual wording of the amendments are available on the CID website at www.rld.state.nm.us/cid/rules-and-law.htm.


NMAC 14.7.6 NM Energy Conservation Code

Section 402.2 Prescriptive Insulation Requirements

402.2.5 Floors – New requirements for insulation in above-garage and cantilevered floors.

  • Slab on grade sill plate sealer – Lists methods to seal the space between the foundation and the bottom plate.

402.2.11 through 402.2.13 — Specifies insulation methods for band joist/rim joists and corners, skylight shafts and knee walls, and architectural features.

402.2.14 Insulation Installation Requirements – Specifies methods for wall, exterior rigid, and cavity insulation installation.

402.4.1 Building Thermal Envelope – Lists insulation methods for sealing the envelope in new construction, and existing building openings, doors, windows and skylights in level III alterations.


NMAC 14.8.2 NM Plumbing Code

316 Protection of piping, materials and structures. New requirement for all residential hot water piping to be insulated to a minimum R-2; commercial hot water piping insulated to a minimum of R-4. While not specified in the code, the Plumbing & Mechanical Bureau Chief has stated this insulation is only intended between the studs up to the stop cock, not through the studs. Solar-ready stub outs. Requires a ¾” diameter stub-out for a future solar water heating system. Again, the Plumbing & Mechanical Bureau Chief has stated this is intended to be only a short length of capped piping from a tee at the water heater.

1613 Reclaimed water systems. Specifies methods to keep reclaimed water separate from potable water supply.


 NMAC 14.7.3 NM Residential Building Code

Chapter 9 Roof Assemblies. New requirement in climate zone III (Las Cruces north to Socorro) for low-slope roofs to have a minimum Reflective Index of 29 (SRI) after 3 years.


NMAC 14.7.2 NM Commercial Building Code

Chapter 15 Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures. New requirement for solar-ready sleeved penetrations for future installation of solar equipment. New requirement in climate zone III (Las Cruces north to Socorro) for low-slope roofs to have a minimum Reflective Index of 29 (SRI) after 3 years.


NMAC 14.9.2 NM Mechanical Code

Chapter 3 General Requirements. New requirements for programmable thermostats, heat pumps and air conditioners in new construction must meet SEER 13. The Plumbing & Mechanical Bureau Chief withdrew the requirement for 90% AFUE furnaces. He intends to bring it back to the Mechanical TAC for rewrite & review at a later date.

Chapter 4 Ventilation Air Supply. New requirement for barometric relief dampers with all new residential evaporative cooling systems.

Chapter 6 Duct Systems. Specifies R-values for combined heating & cooling, heating-only and cooling-only ducts for exterior, ventilated and unvented attics, and unconditioned spaces.

NMAC 14.9.6 NM Solar Energy Code New mechanical code to adopt the 2006 Uniform Solar Energy Code for installation of solar hot water heating systems.