May 14, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Recently, there have been several severe weather occurrences around the world, harming homes, families and businesses. Although we can’t predict or change the weather, strengthening our building codes can assist us in the time of these natural disasters.

This is the second week of Building Safety Month, circulating around the theme of “Bounce Back Faster from Disaster – Build to Code.” Is your building built to code? Are you aware of the different building codes and what each one entails?

The United States uses the International Code Council’s (ICC) set of codes, established to set rules and minimum safety standards for design, construction and maintenance. These codes include:

IBC: The International Building Code: One of the most widely used, it’s the foundation of the ICC’s codes, covering almost all types of buildings, and has been adopted at the state or local level in all 50 states.

IEBC: The International Existing Building Code: Developed to permit flexibility with compliance of the minimum safety requirements on construction of existing buildings (repairs, relocations, additions).

IFC: The International Fire Code: Covering fire safety, evacuation plans and drills, this applies minimum regulations for fire prevention and protection in occupied buildings and premises.

IECC: The International Energy Conservation Code: Designed to reduce energy usage and conserve natural resources with new mechanical and lighting systems and new energy-efficient designs.

IgCC: The International Green Construction Code: Finalized in late 2011, only 13 states have adopted this code to create “green” building sustainability measures for the entire construction project of new and existing commercial buildings.

To learn more about building codes and to stay up-to-date with the latest safety standards, visit