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.