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Code Violation: This fire-rated concrete block wall is penetrated by cable trays and cables. The hole should be firestopped to restore the fire-resistance rating of the wall. Instead, it is filled with flammable polyurethane foam.

A building code, or building control, is a set of rules that specify the minimum standards for constructed objects such as buildings and nonbuilding structures. The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures. The building code becomes law of a particular jurisdiction when formally enacted by the appropriate governmental or private authority.

Building codes are generally intended to be applied by architects, engineers, constructors and regulators but are also used for various purposes by safety inspectors, environmental scientists, real estate developers, subcontractors, manufacturers of building products and materials, insurance companies, facility managers, tenants, and others. Codes regulating the design and construction of structures where adopted into law. Codes in developed western nations can be quite complex and exhaustive. They began in ancient times and have been developing ever since. In the USA the main codes are the International Commercial or Residential Code [ICC/IRC], electrical codes and plumbing, mechanical codes. Fifty states and the District of Columbia have adopted the I-Codes at the state or jurisdictional level.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In Canada, national model codes are published by the National Research Council of Canada, and then adopted, in whole or part; or copied and modified; by each province or territory.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Other codes may include fire, health, transportation, manufacturing, and other regulations/regulators/testers such as UL; Underwriters Labs. In essence they are minimum standards of design and implementation. Designers use building code standards out of substantial reference books during design. Building departments review plans submitted to them before construction, issue permits [or not] and inspectors verify compliance to these standards at the site during construction.

There are often additional codes or sections of the same building code that have more specific requirements that apply to dwellings or places of business and special construction objects such as canopies, signs, pedestrian walkways, parking lots, and radio and television antennas.


Building code sections
Intro  History   Types of building codes    Scope   Prescriptive vs. performance  See also  References  

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