Ibc 2018 upcodes

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UpCodes

As a licensed architect and data scientist — I’m interested in streamlining workflows in architectural practice through data science and machine learning. I’ve worked as an architect for 4 years, and I know the frustrations that architects, engineers, and contractors face when it comes to building code compliance. There needs to be a better way to design code-compliant buildings — and there is, thanks to a startup named UpCodes.

As a brief overview— building codes are standards that ensure building user safety and accessibility. For example, building codes restrict long distances to an exit in case of a fire, they require more doors in rooms that contain more people, and enforce a maximum height for steps on stairs.

While building codes are not meant to inhibit the creativity of architects and designers, it can often be an obstacle to creative solutions to a design problem. Architects often see diagrams of what is code compliant — and just want to provide exactly what is shown to ensure compliance. Suffice it to say, building code can be a frustrating and agonizing requirement that often inhibits the creative flow of the design process.

To further complicate things, the enforceable building code can be different from one jurisdiction to another. Different building codes may be adopted at the local level or state level, which can get really confusing! There are maps and other documents that show code adoption by state.

Without going into too much detail, for example, a new apartment building in Miami, Florida will have different building code requirements than the same building in San Francisco, California. In Miami — the building code insists on design requirements that address the potential for hurricanes and storm surge, while in San Francisco — the building code posits the need for more robust construction for the building to endure earthquakes.

Once we figure out the building codes that the jurisdiction uses, we have to make sure we reference the right section of the code. There are different chapters that address various aspects of the building design. There are chapters on occupancy, building height & area, building construction type, egress, interior finishes, and more.

So as we design the building, we have to hunt through the pages of a physical codebook (or a PDF document if you’re lucky) to find the right section that we need to reference to ensure compliance. The IBC 2018 (a common building standard) alone has 726 pages — and that's probably one of many building codes that your project has to comply with. So you likely have to reference thousands of pages for your project.

It can take years to develop enough experience and expertise as an architect to become familiar enough with building code to develop a sensibility for code-compliant design. What I’ve noticed is this: younger designers often are not sure if a particular design decision is code-compliant or not, until more senior architects can check their work. This leads to a lack of confidence to design safe and accessible spaces, having to re-do work, and success hinges on the reliance of older, more experienced staff.

So now that you understand the headache of building code, there’s got to be a better way, right? Since the advent of computers, tech companies have revolutionized the way that architects design buildings. Autodesk has transformed the way that architects produce drawings through AutoCAD and Revit. Adobe has transformed the way architects produce diagrams, renderings, and presentations through Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. So, how can tech address the problem of building code compliance?

Enter: UpCodes. This startup has wrangled the power of data and software development to create two tools for architects. The first tool is UpCodes Web— which is a search engine, (think Google) enhanced with machine learning and analytics, with the sole purpose to find the building code you need, super fast. The second tool is UpCodes AI — which is a plug-in for Revit that allows us to view code errors in real-time! These tools have the potential to save AEC professionals thousands of painstaking hours per year.

Instead of checking across multiple codebooks, websites, or PDFs, Upcodes Web is a one-stop-shop for finding building code. By providing “project inputs” like our building type, construction type, sprinkler system, and building occupancy classes, UpCodes can filter to only show building code that uniquely pertains to our project. This helps architects and engineers of all ages navigate the code more swiftly and confidently.

Sometimes, jurisdictions will make modifications to common building codes, like the International Building Code (IBC) — and UpCodes helps us identify those changes. UpCodes keeps the UpCodes Web tool up-to-date with any amendments that our jurisdiction may have put into effect recently, so we are always looking at the most current guidelines.

In the early phases of design, architects need to determine a construction type that supports the scale of the building. In general, the larger and/or taller a building gets, the more robust the construction system has to be. There are restrictions related to building area, floor numbers, and building height that change with the building occupancy, construction type, and other factors. To address this — the UpCodes Web tool has a calculator functionality that, after providing your “project inputs”, allows us to check that we haven’t exceeded allowable building area, building height, or the number of floors.

UpCodes Web has turned code research into a more friendly and engaging social activity! By creating a project within UpCodes Web, teammates can comment, bookmark, and share code excerpts that may require further review or may provoke design changes in the project. We can have a conversation about the building code while looking at the building code.

UpCodes AI is a plug-in for Autodesk Revit. For those of you who are Revit users out there, have you ever had this thought:

“It would be so nice if Revit just told me if this (stair, corridor, door, ADA toilet, etc…) is code compliant or not.”

Guess what: that’s exactly what UpCodes AI does! Currently, the program focuses on just two aspects of building code: egress and ADA. In the future, hopefully, more facets of building code will be supported to make the tool more holistic and robust.

To use the tool, you just download and install the plug-in, and it integrates with your existing Revit model — automatically analyzing the model’s components and geometry. The tool flags and sorts building code errors by category, whether its ADA, bathrooms, or doors. We can click into these categories to highlight individual issues in the model. From here, we can make the necessary design changes to be code-compliant. This tool has the potential to change the way we use building code, integrated into the primary software that we use to model and document the building design. No longer do we have to wait for a code review from more experienced and senior architects (or an external consultant). With this tool, everyone can check their work for code compliance as they go. UpCodes AI allows us to check our work as we design, rather than after designing. Check out the video demo of UpCodes AI below.

When we view issues in UpCodes AI, the tool gives us a display that shows specific code information related to the error. First, it gives us a brief overview of the issue. Second, it interprets the often cryptic language of the building code into “layman’s terms” so that everyone can understand the problem. Third, it provides the original code excerpt for reference, which can take you to the UpCodes Web app with a single click, to view more of the building code if desired. And finally, it itemizes every code violation instance in our model — and we can use the “Inspect” button to visually explore each violation. See the diagram below.

Over time, UpCodes automatically updates with new features. Feedback from users of UpCodes AI determines how the tool is developed and evolves. They prioritize the most popular requests from user feedback. You can contribute by leaving feedback to the UpCodes AI changelog here.

It would be interesting to learn more about how UpCodes AI tool works under the hood, and how it could be improved moving forward. Is it simply accessing Revit parameters that guide dimensions of modeled elements to determine compliance?

How else can UpCodes AI use machine learning algorithms to predict problem areas? Can it use Natural Language Processing to extract the meaning of that room name, to then predict and assign those rooms an occupancy class? Or does it have to rely on occupancy class parameters that architects manually input in the Revit model? There are likely many ways that this tool can potentially improve through data science and machine learning / AI endeavors.

UpCodes seeks to disrupt the way that architects design buildings, in a more inclusive and user-friendly way. Essentially, building code is a collection of rules that architects and engineers must abide by to create safe and accessible spaces for people to use. As a profession, we have always manually checked those rules for compliance across several different resources, until now.

UpCodes Web has centralized building code into a single web app and harnesses project data to make code-compliance easier and more intuitive. UpCodes AI takes this a step further and allows us to code-check within the software environment that architects are used to. The future of architecture lies with data and the ways we can use it to be more productive and effective to design our built environment. UpCodes may be a big part of this future.

Sours: https://towardsdatascience.com/upcodes-36f724b81d42

Online building codes are becoming widely available due to their convenience and the ability to keep them updated without having to issue addenda. A list of the FREE codes that we are aware of is included below. If you know of any that should be added to this list, please let us know.

A new startup called Up.codes offers free searchable versions of the iCodes, ADA codes, and NYC codes.

International Code Council

The International Code Council provides free code references for a number of states, plus free access to the International Codes. It is important to refer to the specific requirements for your local jurisdiction since many state and local agencies have modifications to the code.

The codes are updated every three years and the latest revision is the 2018 version. Keep in mind that your jurisdiction may not have adopted the most recent version of the ICC codes so an older version may apply to your project.

Don't see the International Code you need? Here is the full list of I-Codes so you can find what you are looking for.

Did you know that the iCodes are available for purchase on Amazon? We've added links below for the versions available for purchase. As an Amazon Associate Archtoolbox earns from qualifying purchases on this page.

International Building Code

International Residential (One and Two Family) Code

International Existing Building Code

International Energy Conservation Code

International Fire Code

International Plumbing Code

International Mechanical Code

ICC Code Commentaries

The International Code Council provides other versions of their code books, which include code commentaries to help professionals understand the intent of the code. These are incredibly helpful for understanding complex code issues. Unfortunately, the code commentary versions are not available for free online.

You can purchase the commentaries directly through the ICC website or you can usually find them on Amazon.

 

National Fire Protection Association (United States)

The NFPA is the world's leading advocate for fire prevention. They provide free access to the latest edition of their codes (registration is required). Below is a list of some of the most referenced codes for architects:

United States Access Board

The US Access Board is a federal agency that promotes equality for the disabled. They are responsible for maintaining the accessibility guidelines for public buildings and spaces in the United States. If you are interested in a more detailed overview of the United States accessibility law, check out our article: ADA Standards for Accessible Design. It is important to refer to the specific requirements for your local jurisdiction since many state and local agencies have more stringent requirements than the federal codes. Below are links to specific codes and laws:

Sours: https://www.archtoolbox.com/practice/codes/free-online-building-codes.html
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Roof Online

Basics of “Roofing Codes”

There isn’t actually any such thing as a “roofing code”. There are roofing sections of the building code.

Note: If you are trying to find sections of the code that cover specific roofing details, see our Roofing Guide to the International Building Code or our Roofing Guide to the International Residential Code.

Codes that Govern Roofing

There are two model building codes which form the basis of almost all of the building codes in the United States. The International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings (IRC) covers one- and two-family home of three stories or less, and the International Building Code (IBC) covers all other buildings.

Other model codes which are referred to in the IBC and the IRC (and may be relevant to roofing) include the International Fire Code, the International Mechanical Code (covers HVAC systems), and the International Plumbing Code (covers roof drainage).

The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is of particular importance to low-slope roof design due to its R-value requirements, which affect the amount of insulation that has to be included in roof assemblies.

All of these codes are produced by the International Code Council (ICC).

The primary roofing chapter in the IBC is “Chapter 15 – Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures“. However, many other parts of the code deal with aspects of roofing; for help finding them see our Roofing Guide to the IBC.

The primary roofing chapter in the IRC is “Chapter 9 – Roof Assemblies“. For help finding other parts of the IRC which deal with roofs, see our Roofing Guide to the IRC.

Versions of the Building Code

Alwayscheck with your local building inspector’s office to be certain which version of the building code is in effect in your area.

New versions of the IBC and the IRC are produced every 3 years, but they are not adopted or put into effect by local authorities every 3 years. In fact, they are not adopted with any consistency from country to country, state to state, or even city to city.

You can usually find out which code is in force by going to the website of your local government, although some of these websites are so hard to navigate that it makes more sense to simply call and speak to someone in the building inspector’s office.

If you do call, in addition to asking which year’s code is in effect, be sure to ask about amendments to the code that might affect your project.

Amendments to the Building Code

An important thingto be aware of is the fact that the majority of the governing authorities which adopt the codes do so with amendments.

Local authorities can (and they do!) add things, remove things, change the language, and make exceptions to the model code, so it’s not enough to simply know which version of the model code has been adopted.

For instance, while the other US state codes that we’ve looked at use the exact same language of the model code regarding fastening asphalt shingles (four nails per shingle, except in designated high wind areas, where it’s six per shingle), the State of Rhode Island has amended the code so that the Rhode Island code requires something different.

From the actual Rhode Island version of the International Residential Code:

“R905.2.6 Delete R905.2.6 and substitute the following:

R905.2.6 Attachment.

Asphalt strip shingles shall have a minimum of six fasteners per shingle.”

So Rhode Island, by amending the model code, considers theirentire state to be a high wind area where asphalt shingles are concerned.

Even governments at the municipal level in many states have further amended the version of the code adopted (and amended) at the state level, so you can see why it’s important to double-check and read the relevant sections of your actual local code.

Finding Your Local Building Code Online

You should be able to see the code that is in effect in your area on your municipal website, or there should be a link to a state website that has it. You should be able to find it in the “Building Inspection” or “Office of the Building Inspector” section of the website.

If not, the website UpCodes publishes full up-to-date versions of current state codes that include the local amendments.

UpCodes’ database isn’t complete, but they’re working on it, and they add codes for new jurisdictions frequently. You may or may not be able to search their site for free (that seems to change), but if you do a google search with “upcodes” as one of the terms, like “upcodes Texas asphalt shingles”, one of the first search results should take you right where you want to go.

Related Pages

Useful Links for Information on Building Codes and Roofing

1. General: For a terrific building code reference book, see Building Codes Illustrated: A Guide to Understanding the 2018 International Building Code by Francis D. K. Ching and Steven R. Winkel. Link goes to the book’s Amazon page.*

2. General: If you’re looking for code information about a specific type of roofing or roof component, see All Roofing Topics on our home page. Most of our topic pages provide links to the relevant code sections for the topic.

3. General: Our page, Quick Roofing Guide to the International Building Code, helps you find every section in the IBC that has anything to do with roofing.

4. General: Our page, Quick Roofing Guide to the International Residential Code, likewise helps you find every section in the IRC that has anything to do with roofing.

5. General: Codes And Standards Organizations Relevant To Roofing

6. General: Insulation R-Value: For code requirements, see Roof Online’s Energy Codes page.

7. General: A best practices “RICOWI Roof Guide” is available on the website of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. (“RICOWI” stands for the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues). This is an excellent resource with particularly good explanations of building code requirements as they pertain to roofing.

8. General: Copyright law regarding building codes:This: Veeck v. Southern Bldg. Code Congress Int’l, Inc.yet also this: Federal Court Basically Says It’s Okay To Copyright Parts Of Our Laws. We don’t know what to make of it all. (And now this: Can the Law be Copyrighted?.)

9. General: The Building Codes and Standards page at the website of the National Roofing Contractors Association is a good place for up-to-date information about building codes and how they affect roofing.

10. General: An excellent one-page explanation of the roofing section of the 2012 International Building Code. From the November 2012 issue of Professional Roofing magazine and archived at the website of the National Roofing Contractors Association.

11. Building Codes: To view actual, current (including amendments) US state building codes, plumbing codes, fire codes, etc., see UpCodes (an excellent little start-up which we wish all the best).

Example: see here for a look at the roofing section of the 2018 International Building Code, without amendments as adopted by the State of Wyoming.

Example: See here for a look at the roofing section of the 2015 International Residential Code, with amendments as adopted by the State of Washington.

12. Building Codes: 2018 International Building Code: Chapter 15 Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures. On the UpCodes website.

13. Building Codes: 2018 International Building Code: Also extremely relevant to roofs, with sections on rain loads, snow loads, and wind loads: Chapter 16 Structural Design. On the UpCodes website.

14. Building Codes: 2018 International Building Code: Snow Loads: As an example of what you can find in Chapter 16 of the 2018 IBC, see: Section 1608 Snow Loads. On the UpCodes website.

15. Building Codes: 2018 International Building Code: Roof Access: See Chapter 10 Means of Egress, particularly 1011.12 Stairway to roof, 1011.12.2 Roof Access, and 1011.16 Ladders.

16. Building Codes: 2018 International Residential Code: Chapter 9 Roof Assemblies. On the UpCodes website.

17. Building Codes: 2018 International Residential Code: Chapter 8 Roof-Ceiling Construction. Contains sections covering roof framing, roof sheathing, and roof ventilation. On the UpCodes website.

18. Building Codes: 2018 International Residential Code:Rafters: As an example of what you can find in Chapter 8 of the 2018 IRC, see: R802.4 Rafters. On the UpCodes website.

Sours: https://roofonline.com/codes-standards/building-codes/
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