Opportunity: Serve on the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) Mechanical Engineer Seat

The Washington State Building Codes Council currently has an opening for the Mechanical Engineering Seat. As many off you know, this is a really important position because they make lots of decisions on the future of the codes. The person who is finishing out her term is from McKinstry, and the person who served before was at Rushing, and both had a decent background in building codes, but especially energy codes. The role is a three-year appointment with the opportunity to renew once.

Even though the last few years were quite intense for this role, we anticipate that 2023 will be relatively light since there won’t be any formal code adoption. If you know someone who might be interested in the role, please reply to me directly.

More information about the position is below.

Jonny Kocher
Senior Associate RMI
Carbon-Free Buildings


The Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC or Council) provides independent analysis and objective advice to the legislature and the Governor’s Office on state building code issues. The Council also studies, recommends revision, and provides technical and general assistance to building officials about adopted codes relating to uniform building, energy and barrier-free designs.

The Council is made up of 15 people representing different constituencies and perspectives (e.g., architects, elected officials). Six members must be from eastern Washington. Members are not compensated, but do have any travel or expenses reimbursed. Terms are three years and are generally renewed once.

The State Building Code Council has a managing director and four staff members who support code work and facilitate meetings of technical experts.

Impact on Climate

The SBCC, in coordination with industry experts and stakeholders, develops the residential and commercial energy code, which govern how new and substantially renovated buildings use energy. By legislative statute, Washington’s energy code is required to become increasingly more efficient every revision cycle so that new buildings in 2031 are effectively zero carbon-ready (RCW 19.27A.160). However, the actual implementation toward this mandate is dependent on decisions that the SBCC makes.

Why is the Energy Code Important Now?

During this last code cycle, the Council passed several proposals that dramatically reduced the amount of fossil fuels allowed in new construction. However, the council still has a lot of power to undo code changes, delay implementation. Additionally, in future code cycles there is still a lot more work to be done on the existing building code, closing the last loops on fossil fuels for new construction, do more work on embodied carbon and ensure that buildings built are efficient and grid interactive. We want to encourage applicants who share this vision to apply.

Time Commitment

There are approximately nine full Council meetings per year, that are about four hours each. Members are also members of at least one committee, which meet monthly or bimonthly for 2-4 hours. Other time commitment is any preparatory reading and any constituent meetings or outreach. Pre-pandemic, most meetings were in Olympia, with a few in Spokane, but a virtual option was always available. Currently, the SBCC is meeting virtually via zoom.

Current and Upcoming Openings

In early 2023, there will be an opening for a Mechanical Engineer. It would be nice to get a referral from ASHRAE Puget Sound chapter, but not a requirement.

If anyone is interested, have them reach out to directly to me!