Safety guidelines for skyscrapers strengthened in 2009 International Building Code
The 2009 edition of International Building Code (IBC), available in March, will better protect occupants of tall buildings, contains new provisions for ambulatory health care facilities and provides guidelines for constructing storm shelters.
Jurisdictions that adopt the 2009 IBC will apply the most modern, scientific and comprehensive building safety provisions available to save lives and protect property. The IBC, developed and published by the International Code Council, is adopted at the state or local level in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
The IBC provides modern, comprehensive regulations for building systems to assure they are safe and affordable. Safety provisions include structural, seismic, wind, accessibility, egress, occupancy and roofs. To pre-purchase the 2009 International Codes, visit www.iccsafe.org/2009icodes.
New safety features of the 2009 IBC include:
- An additional stairway for high rises more than 420 feet tall unless the building includes special elevators that can be used for emergency evacuation.
- Fire service access elevators permitted in high rises more than 120 feet tall.
- An option to allow emergency evacuation elevators for building occupants.
- Requirements for more robust fire proofing for buildings greater than 75 feet tall.
- A new “Ambulatory Health Care” occupancy category to enhance occupant safety at day surgery centers.
- New guidelines for the design and construction storm shelters, based upon the new International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters, ICC 500-2008.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes International Code Council and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council.