The ICC Codes and Standards
The ICC publishes 15 International Model Codes (I-Codes). The ones of primary interest to the apartment sector are:
- International Building Code (IBC) – The IBC is a comprehensive code providing requirements for all buildings, except one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses up to three stories. It contains broad-ranging provisions that regulate building systems and structural requirements, including fire protection systems, accessibility, indoor environmental quality and structural design measures.
- International Fire Code (IFC) – The IFC covers general fire precautions, emergency planning and preparedness, including fire department access, water supplies, sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and maintenance of fire protection equipment in existing buildings.
- International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) – The IECC addresses building energy efficiency and provides requirements for the energy design and performance of building systems, including the building envelope, lighting, mechanical systems and water systems.
- International Green Construction Code (IgCC) – Provides comprehensive requirements for site and building environmental design and performance; including, land development, material selection, energy and water efficiency and indoor air quality.
- International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) - Provides requirements for the continued use and maintenance of plumbing, mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems in existing buildings.
- Other I-Codes include: International Fuel Gas Code; International Mechanical Code; International Plumbing Code; International Private Sewage Disposal Code; International Existing Building Code; International Performance Code; International Wildland-Urban Interface Code; International Zoning Code; International Residential Code; and International Swimming Pool Code and Spa Code.
ICC also publishes two standards that are important to the apartment industry:
- National Green Building Standard (ICC 700) - Provides a comprehensive, points-based system for improving the environmental design and performance of residential buildings and building sites. Includes provisions addressing land use, material selection, energy and water efficiency, indoor air quality and resident education.
- Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities (ICC A117.1) – Provides the technical requirements for accessibility in commercial and residential occupancies and is aligned with provisions from the American With Disabilities Act (ADA). The International Building Code specifies the applicability of A117.1.
The I-Codes may include dozens of references to other codes and standards. Two organizations that produce standards referenced by the I-Codes are the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Learn more about those standards here.