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Back To Board Minutes Listing Building Code Chapter 8 | Tuesday, April 28, 2009






          Chapter 8 contains a comprehensive list of all standards that are referenced in the code.  It is organized in a manner that makes it easy to locate specific references.


          This chapter lists the standards that are referenced in various sections of this document.  The standards are listed herein by the promulgating agency of the standard, the standard identification, the effective date and title and the section or sections of this document that reference the standard.  The application of the referenced standards shall be as specified in Section 102.7.


          It is important to understand that not every document related to building design and construction is qualified to be a "referenced standard."  The ICC has adopted a criterion that standards referenced in the International Codes and standards intended for adoption into the International Codes must meet in order to qualify as a referenced standard.  The policy is summarized as follows:


?             Code References:  The scope and application of the standard must be clearly identified in the code text.

?             Standard content:  The standard must be written in mandatory language and appropriate for the subject covered.  The standard shall not have the effect of requiring proprietary materials and prescribing a proprietary testing agency.

?             Standard promulgation:  The standard must be readily available and developed and maintained in a consensus process such as ASTM or ANSI.


The ICC Code Development Procedures, of which the standards policy is a part, are updated periodically.  A copy of the latest version can be obtained from the ICC offices.


          Once a standard is incorporated into the code through the code development process, it becomes an enforceable part of the code.  When the code is adopted by a jurisdiction, the standard also is part of that jurisdiction's adopted code.  It is for this reason that the criteria were developed.  Compliance with this policy provides that documents incorporated into the code are, among others, developed through the use of a consensus process, written in mandatory language and do not mandate the use of proprietary materials or agencies.  The requirement for a standard to be developed through a consensus process is vital, as it means that the standard will be representative of the most current body of available knowledge on the subject as determined by a broad spectrum of interested or affected parties without dominance by any single interest group.  A true consensus process has many attributes, including, but not limited to:


?             An open process that has formal (published) procedures that allow for the consideration of all viewpoints;

?             A definitive review period that allows for the standard to be updated or revised;

?             A process of notification to all interested parties; and

?             An appeals process.


          Many available documents related to plumbing system design, installation and construction, though useful, are not "standards," and are not appropriate for reference in the code.  Often, these documents are developed or written with the intention of being used for regulatory purposes, and are unsuitable for use as a regulation due to extensive use of recommendations, advisory comments and non-mandatory terms.  Typical examples of such documents include installation instructions, guidelines and practices.


          The objective of ICC's standards policy is to provide regulations that are clear, concise and enforceable - thus the requirement for standards to be written in mandatory language.  This requirement is not intended to mean that a standard cannot contain informational or explanatory material that will aid the user of the standard in its application.  When it is the desire of the standard's promulgating agency for such material to be included, however, the information must appear in a non-mandatory location, such as an annex or appendix, and be clearly identified as not being part of the standard.


          Overall, standards referenced by the code must be authoritative, relevant, up to date and, most important, reasonable and enforceable.  Standards that comply with ICC's standards policy fulfill these expectations.




          As a performance-oriented code, the code contains numerous references to documents that are used to regulate materials and methods of construction.  The references to these documents within the code text consist of the promulgating agency's acronym, its publication designation (e.g., IBC) and a further indication that the document being referenced is the one that is listed in Chapter 8.  Chapter 8 contains all of the information that is necessary to identify the specific referenced document.  Included is the following information on a document's promulgating agency (see Figure 8):


?             The promulgating agency (I.e., the agency's title);

?             The promulgating agency's acronym; and

?             The promulgating agency's address.


          For example, a reference to an ICC standard within the code indicates that the document is promulgated by the International Code Council (ICC), which is located in Washington, D.C.  Chapter 8 lists the standards agencies alphabetically for ease of identification.


          Chapter 8 also includes the following information on the referenced document itself (see Figure 8):


?             The document's publication designation;

?             The document's edition year;

?             The document's title;

?             Any addenda or revisions to the document known at the time of the code's publication; and

?             Every section of the code in which the document is referenced.


          The heading designations are listed in alphabetical order.  In this case, there is only one referenced in Figure 8.  Chapter 8 identifies that ICC, IBC-06 is titled the International Building Code, the applicable edition (I.e., its year of publication) is 2006 and it is referenced in four specific sections of the code.



          The key aspect of the manner in which standards are referenced by the code is that a specific edition of a specific standard is clearly identified.  In this manner, the requirements necessary for compliance can be readily determined.  The basis for code compliance is, therefore, established and available on an equal basis to the Code Official, contractor, designer and owner.
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