Significant changes to special event structures in the 2021 International Building Code
A clarification to Section 3103.1 (Special Event Structures) of the 2021 International Building Code states that special event structures, newly defined in Section 202, are now included in the types of temporary structures that are regulated by both the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Fire Code (IFC).
The special requirements that are applicable to temporary structures are set forth in Section 3103. For the purpose of applying the applicable code provisions, “temporary” is considered as being erected for a time period of less than 180 days. The IFC contains a significant number of provisions applicable to such structures. In addition, the IBC identifies some key criteria that must be applied to temporary structures, including conformity with the structural strength, fire safety, means of egress, accessibility, light, ventilation and sanitary requirements. Permits are typically required, as are construction documents. The scope of Section 3103 has previously been limited to tents, umbrella structures and other membrane structures. Special event structures, as defined in Section 202, are now included in the types of temporary structures that are regulated by the IBC and IFC.
The new definition in the IBC provides consistency with the IFC definition that was initially established in the 2018 edition. Because special event structures are temporary in nature, such structures are primarily regulated by the IFC for the purposes of approval, permitting, length of use, document submittal, location on lot and inspections. In addition to the provisions mandated by the IFC, limited requirements of the IBC must also be met. Where the structure is to remain in place for a period of 180 days or more, it is to be regulated in the same manner any other “permanent” building or structure by the applicable provisions of the IBC.
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The 2021 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Fire, Residential, Energy Conservation, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes. This valuable series can help any code user save time by zeroing in on the most critical changes in the 2021 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand. Each edition provides a comprehensive analysis of significant changes since the 2018 edition, offering key insights into its contents and implications. Each change analysis features the affected code sections and identifies the change with strikethroughs and underlines to show modifications to the existing language. Each change is accompanied by a quick summary, detailed illustrations, and a discussion of its significance, which brings the technical jargon of the code to life in a real-world setting.