The IBC is recognized as the model building code for commercial construction, which is then adopted by state and local jurisdictions. Through NFPA 285, increasing use of energy efficient continuous insulation (ci) and innovative wall assemblies places a greater emphasis on fire performance of exterior walls.
The goals of building fire safety and energy efficiency are compatible when industry stakeholders work together to ensure proper assemblies are designed, the correct materials are specified, and installers have the experience to combine the design and materials properly in the field.
Unvented roof systems, where the insulation and air barrier are applied directly to the underside of the roof deck, are common in applications where designers are seeking cost-effective and energy-efficient roof assemblies. However, designers of compact roof assemblies must consider vapor permeance and arrangement of the roofing materials to produce acceptable hygrothermal performance and low risk of condensation in the conditioned attic space. To this end, the 2015 version of the International Building Code (IBC) includes new provisions relating to unvented attic and unvented enclosed rafter assemblies that dictate how designers specify vapor retarders and placement of insulation in compact roof assemblies for condensation control.
Mass timber buildings are capable of providing a level of fire-resistance comparable to steel and concrete. Building code changes are allowing more projects to capitalize on the cost, schedule, and environmental advantages of wood construction. As the popularity of wood grows, construction safety practices are also receiving greater emphasis to mitigate fire hazards during one of the most vulnerable periods of a building’s lifetime.
The International Code Council (ICC) has ratified a change to the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) to allow shipping containers compliant with the International Standards Organization (ISO) to be used in commercial construction.