Codes & standards: Key changes in the 2015 International Building Code

By Julie Ruth, American Architectural Manufacturers Association
November 5, 2012

As this article was written, the Final Action Hearings on ICC Group A proposals were about to take place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. These hearings finalize the requirements of the ICC Group A codes, which include the 2015 International Building Code.

Included on the agenda were some code-change proposals of interest to our industry that will be incorporated into the 2015 IBC after the formalities of the Final Action Hearings. These include:

  • A proposal (E60) from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association to permit thresholds of up to 4 ½ inches in height on doors between Type B dwelling units and decks or patios that serve those dwelling units, when a step down of up to 4 inches is provided between the interior floor and the surface of the exterior deck or patio. The height of the threshold will still be limited to ½ inch above the interior floor for swinging doors and ¾ inch for sliding doors.
  • A proposal (E109) by the International Code Council Code Technology Committee that clarifies how measurements are to be taken to determine if a Window Opening Control Device is required on an operable window in new multifamily construction.
  • An AAMA proposal (S173) clarifying that allowable stress design wind loads are to be used in the application of AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440, DASMA 108 and ASTM E330.
  • An AAMA proposal (S176) clarifying that the design pressure rating of tubular daylighting devices, as well as unit skylights, is to be determined in accordance with AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440.
  • An AAMA proposal (S295) that brings the 0.6 adjustment factor needed to go from ultimate design wind pressure to allowable stress wind pressure into Chapter 24 of the 2015 IBC. Chapter 24 specifically deals with glass. Although the provisions of the chapter have always been based upon allowable stress design, extension of the 0.6 adjustment factor into Chapter 24 was neglected when the changes to the design wind speed model occurred in the 2012 IBC. 

Under review

At the time this article was written, several additional code-change proposals were still under review. These included:

  • Flammability testing of exterior walls that contain combustible water resistive barriers (FS147 & FS148)
  • Requirements that replace natural ventilation with mechanical ventilation in low-rise residential buildings (M38 & M39)
  • Provisions for greenhouses (G199)
  • Provisions for replacement windows in emergency escape and rescue openings (G227)
  • Limitation of the L/175 exception (S175)
  • Comparative analysis provisions for the design pressure rating of window units in sizes not tested (S172)
  • Provisions for sunlight delivery systems (S302)

To read about the outcome of these proposals, please see the upcoming December 2012 issue of Glass Magazine.

Julie Ruth is a code consultant for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, She can be contacted through AAMA at 847/303-5664 or via e-mail at Ruth is also owner of JRuth Code Consulting,