The Buda City Council approved the adoption the 2015 International Code Council (ICC) family of building codes. All codes relating to the City’s building operations and property maintenance will now be updated to the 2015 edition of the ICC Codes. The International Code Council is standard throughout Texas and most states. Most cities in the Austin region are already or are in the process of updating their ICC codes.
Prior to this, the City operated under the 2012 edition of ICC Codes with the exception of the Energy Conservation Code, which is already updated to the 2015 edition. The updated building codes take effect on October 1, 2018. Below we have included highlights of the general and local code changes for residential.
Residential Code General Changes
· Carbon monoxide alarm requirements to match smoke alarms
· New alternative methods of construction due to advancements in the field and new products/techniques
· “Tighter” building envelopes for energy efficiency
· New standards to address indoor air quality
· HVAC efficiency of duct layout
Residential Code Local Amendments
· More specific on exemptions from permitting
· Revised 15 amp wiring to 12 gauge to prevent against potential overloading
· Mandatory 4% HVAC duct leakage rather than movable leakage target per Energy Rating Index
· Requiring combustion air for natural gas water heaters in garage to prevent snuffing of pilot lights
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is involved with building codes as part of its rating systems, using the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS). It assesses the building codes in effect in a particular community and how the community enforces its building codes, with special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards. Municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes demonstrate better loss experience, and insurance rates can reflect that. The prospect of lessening catastrophe-related damage and ultimately lowering insurance costs provides an incentive for communities to enforce their building codes. Communities and their citizens then benefit from safer buildings , less damage, and lower insured losses.