Effective Use of the International Building Code


Chapter 1 Scope and Administration

Chapter 2 Definitions

Chapter 3 Use and Occupancy Classification

Chapter 4 Special Detailed Requirements Based on Use and Occupancy

Chapter 5 General Building Heights and Areas

Chapter 6 Types of Construction

Chapter 7 Fire and Smoke Protection Features

Chapter 8 Interior Finishes

Chapter 9 Fire Protection Systems

Chapter 10 Means of Egress

Chapter 11 Accessibility

Chapter 12 Interior Environment

Chapter 13 Energy Efficiency

Chapter 14 Exterior Walls

Chapter 15 Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures

Chapter 16 Structural Design

Chapter 17 Special Inspections and Tests

Chapter 18 Soils and Foundations

Chapter 19 Concrete

Chapter 20 Aluminum

Chapter 21 Masonry

Chapter 22 Steel

Chapter 23 Wood

Chapter 24 Glass and Glazing

Chapter 25 Gypsum Board and Plaster

Chapter 26 Plastic

Chapter 27 Electrical

Chapter 28 Mechanical Systems

Chapter 29 Plumbing Systems

Chapter 30 Elevators and Conveying Systems

Chapter 31 Special Construction

Chapter 32 Encroachments Into the Public Right-Of-Way

Chapter 33 Safeguards During Construction

Chapter 34 Existing Buildings and Structures

Chapter 35 Referenced Standards

Appendix A Employee Qualifications

Appendix B Board of Appeals


Appendix D Fire Districts

Appendix E Supplementary Accessibility Requirements

Appendix F Rodentproofing

Appendix G Flood-Resistant Construction

Appendix H Signs

Appendix I Patio Covers

Appendix J Grading

Appendix K Administrative Provisions

Appendix L Earthquake Recording Instrumentation

Appendix M Tsunami-Generated Flood Hazard

The provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.
The fire district shall include such territory or portion as outlined in an ordinance or law entitled “An Ordinance (Resolution) Creating and Establishing a Fire District.” Wherever, in such ordinance creating and establishing a fire district, reference is made to the fire district, it shall be construed to mean the fire district designated and referred to in this appendix.
The fire district complying with the provisions of Section D101.1 shall be shown on a map that shall be available to the public.
For the purpose of this code, the fire district shall include that territory or area as described in Sections D101.2.1 through D101.2.3.
Two or more adjoining blocks, exclusive of intervening streets, where at least 50 percent of the ground area is built upon and more than 50 percent of the built-on area is devoted to hotels and motels of Group R-1; Group B occupancies; theaters, nightclubs, restaurants of Group A-1 and A-2 occupancies; garages, express and freight depots, warehouses and storage buildings used for the storage of finished products (not located with and forming a part of a manufactured or industrial plant); or Group S occupancy. Where the average height of a building is two and one-half stories or more, a block should be considered if the ground area built upon is at least 40 percent.
Where four contiguous blocks or more comprise a fire district, there shall be a buffer zone of 200 feet (60 960 mm) around the perimeter of such district. Streets, rights-of-way and other open spaces not subject to building construction can be included in the 200-foot (60 960 mm) buffer zone.
Where blocks adjacent to the fire district have developed to the extent that at least 25 percent of the ground area is built upon and 40 percent or more of the built-on area is devoted to the occupancies specified in Section D101.2.1, they can be considered for inclusion in the fire district, and can form all or a portion of the 200-foot (60 960 mm) buffer zone required in Section D101.2.2.
Within the fire district every building hereafter erected shall be either Type I, II, III or IV, except as permitted in Section D104.
Exterior walls of buildings located in the fire district shall comply with the requirements in Table 601 except as required in Section D102.2.6.
Group H occupancies shall be prohibited from location within the fire district.
Every building shall be constructed as required based on the type of construction indicated in Chapter 6.
Roof covering in the fire district shall conform to the requirements of Class A or B roof coverings as defined in Section 1505.
Walls, floors, roofs and their supporting structural members shall be a minimum of 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction.


1. Buildings of Type IV construction.
2. Buildings equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1.
3. Automobile parking structures.
4. Buildings surrounded on all sides by a permanently open space of not less than 30 feet (9144 mm).
5. Partitions complying with Section 603.1, Item 10.
Exterior load-bearing walls of Type II buildings shall have a fire-resistance rating of 2 hours or more where such walls are located within 30 feet (9144 mm) of a common property line or an assumed property line. Exterior nonload-bearing walls of Type II buildings located within 30 feet (9144 mm) of a common property line or an assumed property line shall have fireresistance ratings as required by Table 601, but not less than 1 hour. Exterior walls located more than 30 feet (9144 mm) from a common property line or an assumed property line shall comply with Table 601.

Exception: In the case of one-story buildings that are 2,000 square feet (186 m2) or less in area, exterior walls located more than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a common property line or an assumed property line need only comply with Table 601.

Architectural trim on buildings located in the fire district shall be constructed of approved noncombustible materials or fire-retardant-treated wood.
Permanent canopies are permitted to extend over adjacent open spaces provided all of the following are met:
1. The canopy and its supports shall be of noncombustible material, fire-retardant-treated wood, Type IV construction or of 1-hour fire-resistance-rated construction.

Exception: Any textile covering for the canopy shall be flame resistant as determined by tests conducted in accordance with NFPA 701 after both accelerated water leaching and accelerated weathering.

2. Any canopy covering, other than textiles, shall have a flame spread index not greater than 25 when tested in accordance with ASTM E 84 or UL 723 in the form intended for use.
3. The canopy shall have at least one long side open.
4. The maximum horizontal width of the canopy shall not exceed 15 feet (4572 mm).
5. The fire resistance of exterior walls shall not be reduced.
Structures, except aerial supports 12 feet (3658 mm) high or less, flagpoles, water tanks and cooling towers, placed above the roof of any building within the fire district shall be of noncombustible material and shall be supported by construction of noncombustible material.
The use of plastics complying with Section 2611 for signs is permitted provided the structure of the sign in which the plastic is mounted or installed is noncombustible.
Exterior plastic veneer is not permitted in the fire district.
An existing building shall not hereafter be increased in height or area unless it is of a type of construction permitted for new buildings within the fire district or is altered to comply with the requirements for such type of construction. Nor shall any existing building be hereafter extended on any side, nor square footage or floors added within the existing building unless such modifications are of a type of construction permitted for new buildings within the fire district.
Nothing in Section D103.1 shall prohibit other alterations within the fire district provided there is no change of occupancy that is otherwise prohibited and the fire hazard is not increased by such alteration.
Buildings shall not hereafter be moved into the fire district or to another lot in the fire district unless the building is of a type of construction permitted in the fire district.
Any building located partially in the fire district shall be of a type of construction required for the fire district, unless the major portion of such building lies outside of the fire district and no part is more than 10 feet (3048 mm) inside the boundaries of the fire district.
The preceding provisions of this appendix shall not apply in the following instances:
1. Temporary buildings used in connection with duly authorized construction.
2. A private garage used exclusively as such, not more than one story in height, nor more than 650 square feet (60 m2) in area, located on the same lot with a dwelling.
3. Fences not over 8 feet (2438 mm) high.
4. Coal tipples, material bins and trestles of Type IV construction.
5. Water tanks and cooling towers conforming to Sections 1509.3 and 1509.4.
6. Greenhouses less than 15 feet (4572 mm) high.
7. Porches on dwellings not over one story in height, and not over 10 feet (3048 mm) wide from the face of the building, provided such porch does not come within 5 feet (1524 mm) of any property line.
8. Sheds open on a long side not over 15 feet (4572 mm) high and 500 square feet (46 m2) in area.
9. One- and two-family dwellings where of a type of construction not permitted in the fire district can be extended 25 percent of the floor area existing at the time of inclusion in the fire district by any type of construction permitted by this code.
10. Wood decks less than 600 square feet (56 m2) where constructed of 2-inch (51 mm) nominal wood, pressure treated for exterior use.
11. Wood veneers on exterior walls conforming to Section 1405.5.
12. Exterior plastic veneer complying with Section 2605.2 where installed on exterior walls required to have a fire-resistance rating not less than 1 hour, provided the exterior plastic veneer does not exhibit sustained flaming as defined in NFPA 268.
ASTM E 84—04Test Method for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building MaterialsD102.2.8
NFPA 268—01Test Method for Determining Ignitability of Exterior Wall Assemblies Using a Radiant Heat Energy SourceD105.1
NFPA 701—99Methods of Fire Tests for Flame-Propagation of Textiles and FilmsD102.2.8
UL 723—03Standard for Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials, with Revisions through May 2005D102.2.8