The 2015 International Code Council (ICC) building codes have been released for adoption and enforcement at the local level. The most important changes for the multifamily building community affect the requirements for pedestal buildings, or Section 510, and are the direct result of proposals developed by NMHC/NAA consultants and supported by the Masonry Alliance for Codes and Standards.
Specifically, changes made to Section 510 include:
- Removal of the one story height restriction on the pedestal portion of the building;
- Removal of all but one of the occupancy restrictions allowing any type of occupancy in the pedestal portion, except Group H; and
- Clarification that 13R sprinkler systems can be used in the residential portion of the pedestal building up to 60 feet in height.
Additional changes favorable to multifamily include:
- The “Building Heights and Area” chapter was rewritten for clarity with tables that allow the direct determination of code requirements;
- Clarification that NFPA 13R Sprinkler Systems are not required in bathrooms 55 square feet or less in area; and
- Allowing the replacement of existing emergency escape openings (windows) provided that it is the largest standard window available that will fit the opening.
NMHC/NAA code adoption kits for these and other changes are currently being developed. The kit will include separate recommendations for adoption of the International Energy Conservation Code focused on energy efficiency. It is also important to note that the 2015 ICC codes do not include the International Green Construction Code, which is now in the process of being updated for release next year.
We work closely with code consultants and collaborate with other industry representatives. Currently, we have representation on 20 committees and participation in an additional 12 committees. Our overall focus is on improving existing code provisions and opposing any unnecessary escalation of construction costs. For more information, please contact Ron Nickson, NMHC Vice President of Building Codes, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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