The International Building Code (IBC) 2015 is probably something you’re familiar with, whether you design or manage facilities. The IBC is a “model code that provides minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety, and general welfare of the occupants of new and existing buildings and structures.” While this definition gives a general overview of what the IBC strives to do, you may want more detailed information on what IBC 2015 covers and what it means for you.
Just as a grammar textbook can help parse out when exactly to use that comma, referencing the available resources and the IBC itself can help you on your journey to designing, building, updating, or maintaining your structure.
The International Code Council (ICC) developed the IBC 2015.
IBC 2015 provides standards and codes for new and existing buildings to protect building occupants, provide guidelines for public health and safety in regards to structures, and make building construction and existing buildings safer throughout these processes.
Because it’s an international set of codes, the IBC can be used wherever a local jurisdiction and its federal, state, and local building officials would like to do so.
Not exactly. It is up to each state and even local jurisdictions to determine what standards and codes they’ll use in their local areas. However, the IBC 2015 provides standards for any jurisdiction to use in lieu of developing their own building codes, making standardization easy.
IBC 2015 went into effect in 2015, however, this does not mean these codes are only valid during that calendar year. Updated versions of the IBC are usually released every three years with new information and pertinent amendments and additions. Be sure to check with your state and local building code officials to learn what version of the IBC has been adopted in your area.
Building codes exist to protect building designers, architects, engineers during a structure’s planning phase and to safeguard building occupants and even neighbors after the building is completed. Building codes cover a range of topics, from accessibility and electrical codes to fire safety, occupancy, and structural codes to ensure a facility is safe in a multitude of areas.
Your best bet is to refer to the guidance itself in the IBC 2015: https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IBC2015.
You can also check with your state and local building code official, officer, or department.
Additionally, the professionals who helped you plan, design, or construct your building, including general contractors and architects, may be able to point you in the right direction or give advice on your area’s building code requirements.
We’ve also compiled a list of other resources: