Tech Note B003-20: Introduction to Building Codes


Summary: The International Code Council develops a suite of building codes that are considered nationally to be the model codes for the building industry. Local jurisdictions adopt, and in some cases amend, the codes and they become the law of the jurisdiction for building design and construction. The adopted building codes are intended to provide minimum requirements to provide a safe building environment. Among other requirements, the code dictates the maximum allowable size of a building based on its intended use, materials used in construction, fire resistance rating of structural elements, and the presence of automatic sprinkler systems. The International Building Code establishes all design loads to be applied to the building or structure. The building code also relies on references to other standards and specifications to ensure the provisions reflect the current industry practice. For cold-formed steel framing, the IBC references the American Iron and Steel Institute’s suite of framing standards as the accepted design methods and procedures.

Disclaimer: Designs cited herein are not intended to preclude the use of other materials, assemblies, structures or designs when these other designs demonstrate equivalent performance for the intended use. CFSEI documents are not intended to exclude the use and implementation of any other design or construction technique.