Monday, November 14, 2016


If you are interested in attending my one-day workshop PRINCIPLES OF THE 2015 INTERNATIONAL BUILDING CODE just contact me at:

Locations will be: Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Philadelphia, Maryland, New Jersey.  They will start in the Spring of 2017.

The cost is $250 a person and included ALA, AIA and SARA credits.



It’s an enviable fact that marijuana dispensaries are here to stay. Voters in
many states approve to permit recreational use. Five states have it on the
November ballot. Governments will get a big pay day from taxes collected
and licensing fees. Colorado has gone from having a state deficit to a cash
surplus from these businesses. Whether its a good or a bad idea is not the
problem.  What is important is the design and code requirements for these
licensed facilities.

Watch for the November edition of  CODES & STANDARDS

Sunday, February 08, 2015


My partner and companion of 16 years, Sandra Lee Stevens, has passed away.  She was the love of my life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014




The 2015 I-Codes are being finalized.  Here are some of the major changes you will find in some of the 2015 International Codes.

·                                                                                      Installation of new construction fire alarm and detection systems upon any change of occupancy.

·                                                                                      Fire access elevators must be capable of accommodating 3,500 lbs and needs to fit a 24” X 84” stretcher.

·                                                                                      Groups I-1 and I-2 will now have Conditions 1 and 2 based on the level of care being provided.

·                                                                                      The smoke compartment size of Group I-2 was increased from 22,500 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq.ft.

·                                                                                      Group E (Educational) and first responder facilities located in “tornado alley ”must have a storm shelter.

·                                                                                      Chapter 34 (Existing Buildings) has been deleted from the IBC and is now part of the International Existing Building Code.

·                                                                                      Elevators requirements have been moved from Chapter 7 to Chapter 30 for all the code requirements.

·                                                                                                  Pedestrian walkways now have specific requirements instead of exceptions.

·                                                                                      Smoke barriers can terminate at other than the exterior walls when separating areas of refuge and elevator lobbies.

·                                                                                      HVAC ductwork can completely exit a shaft and re-enter another if they are protected by fire and smoke dampers.

·                                                                                      A new standard for foam plastic insulation where wind resistant pressure is required.

·                                                                                      The occupant load for Group M (Mercantile) will be 60 sq. ft. per occupant for all floors.

·        Accessible routes between stories were revised to reflect the provisions of the 2010 ADA Standard for Accessible Design and U.S. Dept. of Justice regs.


·        Photovoltaic (PV) panels, modules and integrated products have been defined. New roof live-loads for  these PV installations (solar panels).


·        Inconsistencies between the 2012 IBC concrete requirements and the 2011 ACI 318 standard have removed duplicate requirements.


2015 International Residential Code


·        The prescriptive minimum size footing table is expanded for additional snow loads, soil bearing conditions and houses with built basements.


·        The wood joists and span tables reflect the lower spans for southern pine based on current reduced values.


·        Wood deck provisions expanded for additional prescriptive guidance for structural capacity joists, beams and posts.  Also, an alternative prescriptive lateral load connection was added.

·        Emergency escape windows, rescue openings, smoke and carbon monoxide detector requirements are re-written to provide clarity.


·        Straw bale and straw clay construction has been added to the appendices.


2015 International Mechanical Code


·        Condensate drain cleanout means and condensate pump interlocks have new requirements.


·        Make up air for kitchen exhaust systems has been clarified about the required damper and if make up air can be supplied naturally.


·        Bath and kitchen exhaust fan exhaust ducts will be limited in size to ensure intended fan performance.

 ·        For smaller sized ducts you can now use 30 gage sheet metal.


·        Duct sealing  requirements tightened to reduce air leaking in common used ductwork.


·        Return air requirements has  been re-written to eliminate confusing text and clarify the actual intent.


? I will give you other significant provisions to the 2015 I-Codes throughout the year.




Tuesday, January 28, 2014


NFPA is making their fire codes and standards available online FREE.  Go to Access

If you want a copy of the Directory of NFPA Cpdes, just contact me at for the FREE download.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Ever have a code question but you just can't find the answer?  By subscribing to my monthly newsletter CODES & STANDARDS, you receive FREE, unlimited telephone consulting on any code related question.  This includes all I-Codes, NFPA, OSHA, etc. We have been publishing  since 1980.
I will not only answer your question, but also give you alternatives for compliance.
This subscription is just $75 per year and includes the FREE, unlimited telephone code consulting. For further details and order form, go to: and open the tab "Newsletters".
Thank You.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Got a picture of an serious code violation? Please e-mail it to me at: along with your name and address and I will send you an I-Phone style pocket calculator FREE.

Saturday, March 03, 2012


By Kelly P. Reynolds
Code Consultant

THERE WERE 100’s of proposed code changes during the last cycle, all did not get
adopted. With this edition of CODES & STANDARDS I will begin explaining some
of those changes to the 2012 International Building Code. So lets get started...

Definitions have been moved from other locations in the code to Chapter 2.
Defined terms are still listed in their respective chapters but refer back to Chapter 2.
All defined terms are italicized throughout the code to remind users there is a
definition for them.


303.1.3 - A room or space used for assembly purposes in Group E is not considered
a separate occupancy. Chapter 11 accessibility and Chapter 10 egress requirements
for assembly occupancies still apply, but the mixed occupancy provisions of
Chapter 5 do not.
303.4 - Casino floor occupancy classification is now clearly A-2, food and drink
consumption, due to the same characteristics of distracting light, sound and unclear
egress paths.
303.3, 306.2 - Commercial kitchens serving large restaurants are now considered A-2
occupancies. Only kitchens with no associated dining areas are to be considered F-1,
such as catering uses. The separation requirement has been eliminated from Table

Comprehensive revisions were made in Chapter 3 to define and clarify medical care,
custodial care and personal care.

Medical care is primarily I-2, where 6 or more people incapable of self-preservation
are receiving care. When they do not exceed five patients, it may be Group R-3 or
regulated by the 2012 International Residential Code. (Editor’s Note: The five or
less patient rules comes from a Medicare rule that lets that number stay in a private
residence for care.)

Custodial care is primarily I-1 (17 or more occupants) and personal care is R-4 (6-16
occupants). All must be capable of self-preservation. Both care definitions are
similar and do not include medical care.


402 - Open Mall Buildings, first defined in the 2009 IBC and becoming increasingly
popular are now given a variety of changes including the new concept of a open mall
building perimeter line that defines what is within a mall. This section was
reorganized along topics with all egress in 402.8 and all construction 402.3.

407 - Regulations require that were in Chapter 10 regarding patient care suites
proliferating in hospitals are now revised and relocated to 407.

410 - Fly galleries, gridirons and pinrail terms have been consolidated under a new
definition : technical production area. Most of Chapter 10 exit requirements, except
for reference to Table 1015.1, have been relocated to this section. Some smaller
stages are now allowed only one exit.

424 - Children’s play areas, formerly only applicable to covered mall buildings, now
have their own section and regulated regardless of the building in which they are
located. Use of NFPA 289, an alternative to UL 1975, is allowed for testing foam
plastics and pool balls that are commonly used in these play structures.


501.2 - The Fire Official is now allowed to require additional locations for building
ID and the numbers must be maintained.

505.2.2 - Mezzanine egress is now required per Chapter 10 with no special provisions

506.2 - This section has been clarified for three issues: the amount of public way to
be used , the method for measuring available and defining “weighted average”.
This code change eliminated some of the confusion caused by Section 702.1 for fire
separation distance, which only permits the use of the public way to the centerline.
507 REVISIONS - Clarifies the measurement of open area around unlimited area
buildings and their accessory uses. Also, other occupancies are now permitted in
unlimited area building (even H use group) through Section 508.2.
412 & 413 - Shaft enclosure provisions have been relocated, reorganized and
revised under two sections to emphasize vertical openings since shaft enclosure is
just one method to mitigate the hazards to vertical openings.
706.2 - Fire walls are now permitted to use the provisions of NFPA No. 221 for a
double fire wall that can provide complete burnout on the other side of the wall.
That concept has always been required. New provisions now require increased
parapet heights for all fire walls adjacent to sloped roofs. (Did you know that one of
the reasons for firewall parapet heights is so the firefighters can use it as a fire and
heat shield when trying to fight the fire on the other side?)


1001.4 - A new reference to the 2012 International Fire Code fire safety and
evacuation plans Sections 401.2 and 404 to provide consistency and to adopt “by
reference” even though the Fire Code may have not been adopted separately.

1004.1.2, Table 1004.1.2 - A new classification for areas without fixed seating
specifically for exhibitions and museums of 30 or more sq. ft. per person.

1005 - Reduced widths for fire sprinklers removed in the 2009 International Building
Code now re-instated only where emergency voice/communications alarm systems are

1005.3.1 - Entire section reorganized and previous Section 1004.4 has been
incorporated as the last sentence in Section 1005.3.1.

1004.5 - Egress convergence in the previous code is now more logically relocated to
Section 1005.

1008.1.9.9 - Electromagnetically locked egress doors now permitted with integral
panic hardware due to the fact that they have been tested and listed (UL, etc.) not
available in the 2009 IBC. Note - this specific allowance overrides the general
prohibition in Section 1008.1.10 that doors requiring panic hardware “shall not be
provided with a latch or lock unless it is panic hardware or fire exit hardware”.
1011.2 - Low level EXIT signs for use group R-1 occupancies are back. The
provision first appeared in the 1971 Uniform Building Code. This requirement was
based on the numerous hotel and loss of life fires, including the MGM Grand in Las
Vegas where the corridors became obscured by smoke. These are also thought to be
useful to firefighters to gain egress from the fire floor. EXIT signs above doors
become useless when the room fills with smoke and the first thing obliterated are the
EXIT signs. So why are they mounted over the door? Because the were installed at
the convenience of the electrician.
1012.2 - Handrails and Guards - Transition pieces of continuous handrails are now
permitted to exceed the maximum prescriptive height.
1012.3.1 and 101.8 - Handrail maximum cross section dimension now provided for
noncircular handrails.
1013.1 and 1013.8 - Guard handrails for operable windows located more than 72-inc.
above grade are relocated from Chapter 14. The minimum window sill height for
which a guard is not required has gone from 24-in. to 36-in.
1013.3 - Guard rail height has been reduced from 42-in. to 36-in. in use groups R-2
and R-3 less than three stories to coordinate with the provisions of the IRC.
1021.2 - Exits from stories - - not all exits have to be accessible to all occupants if
there are sufficient exits (not less than two) accessible to all.
1021.2.1 and Table 1021.2 (2) - A new ratio equation is used to determine if a
single exit can serve different occupancies.

If you want a FREE copy of our exclusive Fire & Life Safety Matrix, just contact us at: