Significant changes to the 2018 International Codes
The 2018 Significant Changes guides are available for the International Building, Residential, Fire, 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 2018 International Codes. The Code Council’s technical experts provide summaries, analysis and graphics for these changes making them clear and easy to understand.
A private garage has historically been limited by the size of the garage facility, with an absolute limit of 3,000 square feet. In the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), a new definition was introduced describing a private garage as a building or portion of a building where motor vehicles used by the tenants of the building or buildings on the premises are stored or kept, without any limitation on floor area. As a result, large parking structures used exclusively for use of the tenants would qualify as private parking garages and be subject to the fire separation and Group U classification criteria of Section 406.3.
A clarification to Section 406.3 (Regulation of Private Garages) of the 2018 IBC states that parking structures that meet the definition of private garages are now permitted to comply with the provisions for public parking garages as an alternative approach. Read more.
An addition to Sections 901.4.6.1, 901.4.6.2, 901.4.6.3 and 901.4.6.4 (Fire Pump and Fire Sprinkler Riser Rooms) of the 2018 International Fire Code (IFC) adds additional criteria to fire pump rooms and fire sprinkler riser rooms. The code does not require such rooms to be provided, but where they are provided, the rooms must meet the requirements in Section 901.4.6 of the IFC and Section 902.1 of the International Building Code. Read more.
The International Residential Code (IRC) provides prescriptive requirements for the construction of mass walls for conserving energy. Mass walls are built of dense materials, typically concrete, concrete masonry units and brick. Alternative materials used for mass walls include solid logs, adobe and rammed earth. Frame walls and mass walls perform very differently and require different amounts of insulation. Mass walls store heat and require less insulation than frame walls.
The mass wall provisions of Section N1102.2.5 (Mass Walls) of the 2018 IRC have been itemized in a numbered list to bring accuracy and clarity to the technical requirements. To be considered a mass wall component of the thermal envelope, the wall must meet one of two items in the list. These changes are primarily editorial and intend to identify mass walls used in the building thermal envelope in an objective, measurable way. Read more.
Section 404.1 (Mechanical Ventilation of Enclosed Parking Garages) of the 2018 International Mechanical Code has been misinterpreted regarding intermittent operation. No technical changes were made, rather the text was rewritten to make it clear that the garage exhaust system can never shut off completely. The exhaust is either full-on all of the time, or it is allowed to be cycled between full-on and minimum-on by CO and NO2 detectors. “Intermittent” operation implied that the system could shut off completely, which was never the intent. Read more.