One thing you realize pretty quickly while researching building codes, is that there is a lot more information out there, than there is time to read it.
ICC – International Code Council
The starting point for all building code information is the ICC, International Code Council, whose mission is: to provide the highest quality codes, standards, products and services for all concerned with the safety and performance of the built environment.
The ICC develops the most comprehensive guide to building safety and fire codes used across the U.S. Each individual state operates uniquely in their legislative process to adopt codes, and code adoption isn’t necessarily statewide. Local governments can make their own decisions, and states can pick and choose what sections they want to adopt, change, or remove completely. Wondering how it works in your state? Start with this code adoption process by state link.
International Code Adoption by State
The next logical step is to find out which codes they adopted through their process. Start with the International Codes-Adoption by State chart (updated May 2016), which lists each of the states and U.S. territories, and which codes they have adopted. Energy code, residential code, mechanical code – you name it. If it’s related to building, it’s regulated, and it’s on this list.
Once you know which version of the code the state has accepted, the nitty-gritty research begins. Detailed publications for each state are available for purchase through the ICC. They also have a great feature called “toolkits“, which offers federal, state, and local overviews. A link called “Who to Call?” lists each state’s Chapters, Board Liaisons, and Government Relations Representative.
Which Codes Matter?
Of course the short answer is – all of them. But it really depends on what answers you’re looking for. Read more