Key Changes in the 2015 International Codes® (I-Codes®)

Key Changes in the 2015 International Codes® (I-Codes®)

Key Changes in the 2015 International Codes® (I-Codes®)

What’s New in the 2015 I-Codes?

Key Changes include:

2015 IBC®

  • An automatic sprinkler system is required within a building when the roof is used for A-2 assembly occupancy with an occupant load exceeding 100 or for other assembly uses exceeding 300.
  • Carbon monoxide alarm provisions have been relocated, reformatted and revised.
  • More detailed scoping requirements for recreational facilities are included within the new Section 1110.
  • A modification allows egress through an elevator lobby when access to at least one exit is available without passing through the lobby.
  • Group E occupancies and emergency responder facilities located in ‘tornado alley’ are required to have storm shelters.  Storm shelters provided for other occupancies and in other areas of the country are voluntary.  However, all storm shelter must comply with ICC 500.
  • A definition for Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) was added to Chapter 2, and the ANSI/APA PRG 320-2011 product manufacturing standard is referenced in Chapter 23 and added to Chapter 35.
  • New code sections were added covering rooftop mounted photovoltaic solar panels.
  • “Vegetative roof” is defined in Section 202 to be consistent with the definition in the IgCC™ and ASTM D1079. A reference to ASTM E 2397 was added for determining soil loads on vegetative roofs.
  • Chapter 34 on existing buildings has been deleted and a reference to the IEBC replaces the chapter. All provisions previously in Chapter 34 may be found in the IEBC.


2015 IRC®

  • Common walls separating townhouses must now be rated for 2 hours when an automatic fire sprinkler system is not installed.
  • Remodeling of an existing basement does not trigger the emergency escape and rescue opening requirements unless a new bedroom is created.
  • Ramps that do not serve the required egress door are now permitted to have a slope not greater than 1 unit vertical in 8 units horizontal.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms now require connection to the house wiring system with battery backup. A carbon monoxide alarm is required in bedrooms when there is a fuel-fired appliance in the bedroom or adjoining bathroom.
  • Revised lumber capacities have changed the span lengths for floor joists, ceiling joists and rafters in the prescriptive tables of the IRC.
  • New sections and tables provide prescriptive methods for posts, beams, joists and connections in deck construction.
  • The girder and header span tables of Chapter 5 have been moved into Chapter 6. Multi-ply and single header tables are combined. A new section describing rim board headers is added.

2015 IFC®

  • Decorative material requirements were revised to be more comprehensive and provide more details for healthcare occupancies.
  • Section 910 was heavily revised to address overall smoke removal. Mechanical smoke removal requirements have been revised and clarified.
  • CO alarm requirements have been heavily revised make the installation requirements clearer and relocated by F360-13. Educational occupancies were added as regulated occupancies.
  • Limited area sprinklers requirements were revised to be more comprehensive.
  • A new IFC (and IBC) Section 915 replaces and greatly expands upon former Section 908.7 on Carbon Monoxide detection and alarm requirements.

2015 IPC®

  • Public toilet facilities are not required for occupancies that have limited areas for public access.
  • Water temperature limiting devices are required for footbaths and head shampoo sinks.
  • In a replacement water heater installation situation when a nearby drain point is unavailable for the required pan, a code modification allows the pan to be used without a drain line.
  • Fixtures such as water closets and urinals that utilize nonpotable water must be identified with words and a symbol that nonpotable water is being used. The color purple is established for identifying distribution piping conveying nonpotable water.
  • The application of a primer to drain, waste and vent PVC pipe and fittings prior to solvent cementing is not required for 4-inch pipe size and smaller.

2015 IMC®

  • Condensate pumps located in uninhabitable spaces and used with condensing fuel-fired appliances and cooling equipment must be connected to the appliance or equipment to prevent water damage if the pump fails.
  • The ventilation system for enclosed parking garages must operate continuously or be automatically controlled for intermittent operation utilizing both carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide detectors.
  • New text recognizes the use of dryer exhaust duct power ventilators (DEDPV) for installations that exceed the allowable exhaust duct length for clothes dryers.
  • New text regulates the design and construction of exhaust shafts that serve domestic kitchen exhaust systems in multi-story buildings.

2015 IFGC®

  • The section on protection of piping has been completely rewritten.
  • Line regulators installed in rigid piping must have a union installed to allow removal of the regulator.
  • Specific installation requirements were added for the safe installation of ANSI Z21.69 connectors for commercial cooking appliances.
  • New text recognizes the use of dryer exhaust duct power ventilators (DEDPV) for installations that exceed the allowable exhaust duct length for clothes dryers.

2015 IECC®

  • Climate-appropriate alternative added for buildings located in Tropical Zones.
  • In the residential provisions, the inclusion of the Energy Rating Index Compliance Alternative as another compliance path adds more flexibility to the IECC.
  • Separate Chapters dealing with existing buildings were created in both IECC-Commercial and Residential Provisions.

2015 IEBC®

  • Requirements related to the addition of sleeping units and dwelling units as they relate to the requirements for Accessible units, Type A units and Type B units have been moved to Chapter 11 on Additions.
  • The different levels of change of occupancy as addressed in Chapter 10 are clarified.

2015 ISPSC™

  • The term “pool and spa” replaces “aquatic vessel” throughout the code. This change eliminates confusion and deletes an unnecessary definition.
  • Fall protection guards for springboards that are greater than 5 feet (1.5 meters) above a pool deck are now required. The guards will significantly reduce injuries from falls from high springboards.
  • Public pools are now required to have signage indicating how to reach emergency services by phone.