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Building Code Resources

The following documents provide guidance on building codes for property owners, engineers and design professionals, building codes officials, and the general public.

All Hazards

Building Codes Toolkit (January 2014)

This toolkit contains guidance and tools on building codes for property owners, engineers and design professionals, building codes officials, and the general public. Materials referenced here are based on local best practices and input from local, regional, and federal subject matter experts; industry partners; and existing FEMA standards and guidance.

Earthquake

 
The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies.
 

Tornado and Hurricane

Highlights of ICC 500-2014, ICC/NSSA Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters (September 2015)

ICC 500-2014: The International Code Council (ICC) 500-2014 is a referenced standard in the 2015 International Building Code® (IBC) and the 2015 International Residential Code® (IRC). Buildings or spaces designated for use as a shelter from tornadoes and/or hurricanes within the scope of the IBC and IRC must conform to the requirements in ICC 500. Highlights of ICC 500-2014 cover Administration and Oversight; Structural Design Criteria; Occupancy, Means of Egress, and Access; Fire Protection, Essential Features, and Accessories; and Test Methods. The report also covers significant changes made to the 2014 edition compared to the 2008 edition of ICC 500.

Flood

The following documents provide information concerning the flood resistant provisions of the 2015, 2012, and 2009 International Codes® (I-Codes), the referenced standard American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 24, Flood Resistant Design and Construction, and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements.

The I-Codes can be purchased at the International Code Council.  ASCE 24 can be purchased from the ASCE Store.

Flood Resistant Provisions of the 2015 International Codes® (May 2015)

This document is a compilation of flood resistant provisions, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), of the 2015 I-Codes (IBC, IRC, IEBC, IMC, IPC, IFGC, IFC, ISPSC, IPSDC, ICC-PC). Also included, as a separate document, is a summary of changes from the 2012 I-Codes. The 2015 edition of the I-Codes contains provisions that meet or exceed the minimum flood-resistant design and construction requirements of the NFIP for buildings and structures. FEMA and States use a standard checklist when reviewing local floodplain management regulations/ordinances to determine whether such regulations and ordinances are complete for the purpose of participating in the NFIP. The checklist for the I-Codes may also be used to guide floodplain managers, building officials and designers as they compare the flood provisions of the 2015 I-Codes and ASCE 24-14 to the minimum requirements of the NFIP. See link below for Highlights of ASCE 24-14 (ASCE 24-14 is a referenced standard in the 2015 IBC and IRC).

 
This document is a compilation of flood resistant provisions, prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), of the 2012 I-Codes (IBC, IRC, IEBC, IMC, IPC, IFGC, IPSDC, IFC). Also included, as a separate document, is a summary of changes from the 2009 I-Codes. The 2012 edition of the I-Codes contains provisions that meet or exceed the minimum flood-resistant design and construction requirements of the NFIP for buildings and structures. FEMA and States use a standard checklist when reviewing local floodplain management regulations/ordinances to determine whether such regulations and ordinances are complete for the purpose of participating in the NFIP. The checklist for the I-Codes may also be used to guide floodplain managers, building officials and designers as they compare the flood provisions of the 2012 I-Codes and ASCE 24-05 to the minimum requirements of the NFIP. See link below for Highlights of ASCE 24-05 (ASCE 24-05 is a referenced standard in the 2012 IBC and IRC).
 

This document is a compilation of flood resistant provisions, prepared by FEMA, of the 2009 I-Codes (IBC, IRC, IEBC, IMC, IPC, IFGC, IPSDC, IFC). Also included, as a separate document, is a summary of changes from the 2006 I-Codes. The 2009 edition of the I-Codes contains provisions that meet or exceed the minimum flood-resistant design and construction requirements of the NFIP for buildings and structures. FEMA and States use a standard checklist when reviewing local floodplain management regulations/ordinances to determine whether such regulations and ordinances are complete for the purpose of participating in the NFIP. The checklist for the I-Codes may also be used to guide floodplain managers, building officials and designers as they compare the flood provisions of the 2009 I-Codes and ASCE 24-05 to the minimum requirements of the NFIP. See link below for Highlights of ASCE 24-05 (ASCE 24-05 is a referenced standard in the 2009 IBC and IRC).

Highlights of ASCE 24 Flood Resistant Design and Construction

The American Society of Civil Engineers maintains ASCE 24, a referenced standard in the I-Codes.  ASCE 24-14 is referenced in the 2015 International Building Code® (IBC) and the 2015 International Residential Code® (IRC). ASCE 24-05 is referenced in the 2012, 2009, and 2006 IBC and IRC.  Buildings and structures within the scope of the IBC proposed to be constructed in flood hazard areas must be designed in accordance with ASCE 24. The IRC requires dwellings in floodways to be designed in accordance with ASCE 24 and permits use of ASCE 24. The 2015 IRC permits use of ASCE 24 for dwellings in any flood zone, while earlier editions permit its use in Zone V and Coastal A Zones. The requirements of ASCE 24 meet or exceed the NFIP requirements for buildings and structures in special flood hazard areas. Separate documents summarizing ASCE 24-05 and ASCE 24-14 include the following topics: Building Performance; Flood-Damage Resistant Materials; Utilities and Service Equipment; and Siting Considerations.

Reducing Flood Losses Through the International Codes: Coordinating Building Codes and Floodplain Management Regulations (2014)

Developed by the International Code Council and FEMA, this guide helps State and local officials integrate the International Codes® (I-Codes) into their current floodplain management regulatory processes related to coordinate with structures, buildings, and other development in special flood hazard areas in order to meet the requirements to participate in the NFIP. Chapter 2 describes three approaches for coordinating the I-Codes and local floodplain management regulations and identifies a number of advantages and considerations when relying on the flood provisions of the codes. Chapter 3 explains several differences between the NFIP regulations and the I-Code requirements related to specific terminology and provisions. Many requirements in the codes exceed NFIP minimum requirements, and some provisions are more specific than the NFIP, especially in the International Building Code®, which references ASCE 24, Flood Resistant Design and Construction. Chapter 4 contains questions for States and communities to answer to know whether and how to modify existing floodplain management regulations the I-Codes. Chapter 5 describes modifications that can be adopted to incorporate higher standards in the I-Codes to further increase resistance to flood damage. Chapter 6 introduces model code-coordinated ordinances prepared by FEMA.

Quick Reference Guide: Comparison of Select NFIP & Building Code Requirements for Special Flood Hazard Areas

This guide illustrates the similarities and highlights the differences between the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) minimum requirements and the requirements of the 2012 International Code Series (I-Codes) and ASCE 24-05, Flood Resistant Design and Construction, a standard referenced by the I-Codes. The illustrations highlight some of the key similarities and differences between foundation types, lowest floor elevations, enclosures below elevated buildings and utilities requirements contained within the NFIP and I-Codes for most residential and commercial buildings (classified as "Category II" structures by the building codes).

2015 Uniform Codes by IAPMO and 2012 Uniform Codes by IAPMO

These documents contain Flood Resistant Provisions of the 2015 and 2012 editions of codes published by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO): the Uniform Mechanical Code; Uniform Plumbing Code, Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code and Uniform Solar Energy Code.

CodeMaster for Flood Resistant Design (2011, 2015)

The CodeMaster provides designers with an easy-to-use desk reference that identifies the flood provisions in the International Building Code® (IBC®) and International Residential Code® (IRC®), as well as the flood requirements of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) standards ASCE 7 and ASCE 24. There are two versions of the Flood CodeMaster – one for the 2015 IBC and IRC, ASCE 7-10 and 24-14, the other for the 2009/2012 IBC and IRC, ASCE 7-05/7-10 and 24-05. The CodeMaster is a unique and useful tool for designers to make sure that they incorporate the flood-resistant provisions of these codes and standards. The 8-page guide provides sections on preliminary considerations and design process, key flood terminology, a 12-step process to incorporate flood resistance in the design of a building, an example showing the 12-step process being executed and information on additional FEMA mitigation resources related to flood-resistant design. The document also uses illustrations to ensure a clear understanding for users in the professional community.

These guides can be purchased from the International Code Council.

2006 Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Building Standards

This sub-study evaluates the NFIP building standards, including a review of flood loss and damage data for structures and communities and calculation of costs and benefits of modifying NFIP building standards across defined ranges of flood conditions and building configurations, differentiated by flood hazard zone.

2008 Supplement to the 2006 Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Building Standards 

This document provides a supplement analysis to the 2006 Evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Building Standards. The purpose of this document is to determine the cost-effectiveness of including freeboard within the foundation height of new residential buildings constructed in floodplains and to establish which factors should be considered when determining how many feet above the minimum NFIP-required elevation a house should be constructed in order to maximize cost-effectiveness.

Code Capability Report and Appendices (1992)

FEMA 296, 297, and 298 comprise the Code Capability Report and its appendices. This report provides a comparison between the NFIP technical guidelines and standards and the model code and standards in place in 1992. The report's recommendations provide a basis for coordinating NFIP documents with model code and standards. This report is a resource document.

Last Updated: 
02/24/2016 - 08:34