By Austin Regan
Next October, a mere seven months from now, the updated 2014 Building Code will go into effect. Unlike the previous conversion from the 1968 Code to the 2008 Code, this time there will be no transition period where the applicant can choose which Code to follow. Once the October deadline passes, any new building not filed previous to that date must follow the 2014 Code.
The change from the 1968 Code to the 2008 Code was dramatic in many ways, one of which was its actual structure. In the 2008 conversion, the City abandoned its own Code structure in order to follow the format of the International Building Code (IBC). The current upgrade is not nearly as dramatic with respect to formatting changes. While the City based the 2008 Code on the 2003 IBC, the new version is based on the 2009 IBC.
While the main chapters have not changed, IBC does change the number designations of sections within those chapters. So while chapter 10 is still the egress chapter, Section 1024 no longer is the section addressing Place of Assembly requirements. That section is now 1028. For those of us that tend to memorize these things, this IBC quirk can be frustrating.
More challenging is the task of dissecting the Code to really understand what the changes are between these two editions, and what the impact will be on building design. In the coming months we will be looking at specific changes to help engineers and architects adjust their designs for projects still in the conceptual phase.
If you recall from the last Code upgrade, there were quite a few gray areas that took some time to iron out. October will be here before you know it, so let’s get ready.