Introduction

Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date code addressing repair, alteration, addition or change of occupancy in existing buildings. The International Existing Building Code®, in this 2012 edition, is designed to meet this need through model code regulations that safeguard the public health and safety in all communities, large and small.

This comprehensive existing building code establishes minimum regulations for existing buildings using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. It is founded on broad-based principles intended to encourage the use and reuse of existing buildings while requiring reasonable upgrades and improvements. This 2012 edition is fully compatible with all of the International Codes® (I-Codes®) published by the International Code Council (ICC)®, including the International Building Code®, International Energy Conservation Code®, International Fire Code®, International Fuel Gas Code®, International Green Construction CodeTM (to be available March 2012), International Mechanical Code®, ICC Performance Code®, International Plumbing Code®, International Private Sewage Disposal Code®, International Property Maintenance Code®, International Residential Code®, International Swimming Pool and Spa CodeTM (to be available March 2012), International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® and International Zoning Code®.

The International Existing Building Code provisions provide many benefits, including the model code development process, which offers an international forum for building professionals to discuss performance and prescriptive code requirements. This forum provides an excellent arena to debate proposed revisions. This model code also encourages international consistency in the application of provisions.

Development

The first edition of the International Existing Building Code (2003) was the culmination of an effort initiated in 2000 by a development committee appointed by the ICC and consisting of representatives of the three statutory members of the International Code Council at that time, including: Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI). The intent was to draft a comprehensive set of regulations for existing buildings consistent with and inclusive of the scope of the existing model codes. Technical content of the latest model codes promulgated by BOCA, ICBO and SBCCI as well as other rehabilitation codes was utilized as the basis for the development, followed by a public forum in 2001 and the publication of the 2001 Final Draft. This 2012 edition presents the code as originally issued in 2003 with the changes reflected in the 2006 edition, 2009 edition and with further changes approved through the ICC code development process through 2010. A new edition such as this is promulgated every three years.

This code is founded on principles intended to encourage the use and reuse of existing buildings that adequately protect public health, safety and welfare; provisions that do not unnecessarily increase construction costs; provisions that do not restrict the use of new materials, products or methods of construction; and provisions that do not give preferential treatment to particular types or classes of materials, products or methods of construction.

Adoption

The International Existing Building Code is available for adoption and use by jurisdictions internationally. Its use within a governmental jurisdiction is intended to be accomplished through adoption by reference in accordance with proceedings establishing the jurisdiction’s laws. At the time of adoption, jurisdictions should insert the appropriate information in provisions requiring specific local information, such as the name of the adopting jurisdiction. These locations are shown in bracketed words in small capital letters in the code and in the sample ordinance. The sample adoption ordinance on page xi addresses several key elements of a code adoption ordinance, including the information required for insertion into the code text.

Maintenance

The International Existing Building Code is kept up to date through the review of proposed changes submitted by code enforcement officials, industry representatives, design professionals, and other interested parties. Proposed changes are carefully considered through an open code development process in which all interested and affected parties may participate.

The contents of this work are subject to change both through the code development cycles and the governmental body that enacts the code into law. For more information regarding the code development process, contact the Codes and Standards Development Department of the International Code Council.

While the development procedure of the International Existing Building Code assures the highest degree of care, ICC, its members, and those participating in the development of this code do not accept any liability resulting from compliance or noncompliance with these provisions, because ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this code. Only the governmental body that enacts the code into law has such authority.

Code Development Committee Responsibilities
(Letter Designations in Front of Section Numbers)

In each code development cycle, proposed changes to this code are considered at the Code Development Hearings by the International Existing Building Code Development Committee. Proposed changes to a code section having a number beginning with a letter in brackets are considered by a different code development committee. For example, proposed changes to code sections that are preceded by the letter [F] (e.g., [F] 1404.2), are considered by the International Fire Code Development Committee at the Code Development Hearings.

The content of sections in this code that begin with a letter designation is maintained by another code development committee in accordance with the following:

[A] = Administrative Code Development Committee;

[B] = International Building Code Development Committee (IBC—Fire Safety, General, Means of Egress or Structural);

[F] = International Fire Code Development Committee;

[P] = International Plumbing Code Development Committee;

[FG] = International Fuel Gas Code Development Committee;

[EC] = International Energy Conservation Code Development Committee; and

[M] = International Mechanical Code Development Committee.

Note that, for the development of the 2015 edition of the I-Codes, there will be two groups of code development committees and they will meet in separate years. The groupings are as follows:

Group A Codes
(Heard in 2012, Code Change Proposals
Deadline: January 3, 2012)
Group B Codes
(Heard in 2013, Code Change Proposals
Deadline: January 3, 2013)
International Building CodeAdministrative Provisions (Chapter 1 all codes except
IRC and ICCPC, administrative updates to currently ref-
erenced standards, and designated definitions)
International Fuel Gas CodeInternational Energy Conservation Code
International Mechanical CodeInternational Existing Building Code
International Plumbing CodeInternational Fire Code
International Private Sewage
Disposal Code
International Green Construction Code
ICC Performance Code
International Property Maintenance Code
International Residential Code
International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
International Wildland-Urban Interface Code
International Zoning Code

Code change proposals submitted for code sections that have a letter designation in front of them will be heard by the respective committee responsible for such code sections. Because different committees will meet in different years, it is possible that some proposals for this code will be heard by a committee in a different year than the year in which the primary committee for this code meets.

For instance, Section 606.2.3 is designated as the responsibility of the International Building Code Development Committee (Structural), along with all structural related provisions of the IEBC. This committee will conduct its code development hearings in 2012 to consider all code change proposals to the International Building Code and any portions of other codes that it is responsible for, including Section 606.2.3 of the IEBC and other structural provisions of the IEBC (designated with [B] in front of those sections). Therefore, any proposals received for Section 606.2.3 will be considered in 2012 by the International Building Code Development Committee (Structural).

Another example is that every section of Chapter 1 of this code is designated as the responsibility of the Administrative Code Development Committee, and that committee is part of the Group B code hearings. This committee will conduct its code development hearings in 2013 to consider all code change proposals for Chapter 1 of this code and proposals for Chapter 1 of all I-Codes. Therefore, any proposals received for Chapter 1 of this code will be deferred for consideration in 2013 by the Administrative Code Development Committee.

It is very important that anyone submitting code change proposals understand which code development committee is responsible for the section of the code that is the subject of the code change proposal. For further information on the code development committee responsibilities, please visit the ICC web site at www.iccsafe.org/scoping.

Marginal Markings

Solid vertical lines in the margins within the body of the code indicate a technical change from the requirements of the 2009 edition. Deletion indicators in the form of an arrow () are provided in the margin where an entire section, paragraph, exception or table has been deleted or an item in a list of items or a table has been deleted.

A single asterisk [*] placed in the margin indicates that text or a table has been relocated within the code. A double asterisk [**] placed in the margin indicates that the text or table immediately following it has been relocated there from elsewhere in the code. The following table indicates such relocations in the 2012 International Existing Building Code.

2012 LOCATION2009 LOCATION
301.1101.5
301.1.1101.5.1
301.1.2101.5.2
301.1.3101.5.3
301.1.4101.5.4
301.1.4.1101.5.4.1
Table 301.1.4.1Table 101.5.4.1
301.1.4.2101.5.4.2
Table 301.1.4.2Table 101.5.4.2
907.4.4606.2.1 (706.2.1 in 2012 numbering)

Note that portions of Chapter 1 in the 2009 code, were moved to Chapter 3 in 2012, creating a new chapter. Therefore, all subsequent chapters were renumbered. There are single asterisks [*] and double asterisks [**] shown for this reorganization. The chapters affected are:

Italicized Terms

Selected terms set forth in Chapter 2, Definitions, are italicized where they appear in code text. Such terms are not italicized where the definition set forth in Chapter 2 does not impart the intended meaning in the use of the term. The terms selected have definitions which the user should read carefully to facilitate better understanding of the code.

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