Why the IMC?

Why should a state, city or jurisdiction adopt the International Mechanical Code (IMC)?

The IMC is the most widely adopted mechanical code across the United States. The IMC is currently adopted in 47 states across the U.S. and is also adopted in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Approximately 293 million people, or 88% of the US population, live in areas that have adopted the IMC.

The IMC is also used in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and other countries around the world.

Why is the IMC the most resilient mechanical code around?

In today's rapidly evolving world, the need to create and maintain a resilient built environment becomes increasingly important. The IMC stands out as the most resilient mechanical code available, with provisions addressing areas such as fire, flood/water intrusion, mold and mildew, indoor air quality and more.

The IMC is a vital part of a complete building safety system, providing an integral component necessary to stay current with the latest building technologies while providing an acceptable level of safety to protect life and property from the potential dangers associated with the installation and operation of mechanical systems.

The IMC includes numerous design and installation options that provide flexibility for design professionals and builders. For example:

  • The IMC allows common exhaust systems for domestic kitchens and dryers and provides provisions that reduce air leakage and result in space conditioning energy savings.
  • The IMC provides a mechanical ventilation credit recognizing the better performance of whole-building dilution ventilation systems that are distributed, mixed and balanced.
  • The IMC allows the use of intake/exhaust combination terminations, which reduce building penetrations and air leakage resulting in space conditioning energy savings.
  • The IMC allows the use of annual permits in cases where a series of alterations will be made to an already approved mechanical system. This allows industrial facilities to make routine equipment changes in a timely manner.

The I-Codes, when adopted as a family of codes, correlating as they do, provide a consistent system of regulations that designers, builders, and regulators can rely on,
across city, county, or state lines.

It is for this reason that FEMA’s “Consensus-based Codes, Specifications and Standards for Public Assistance Policy” requires that as a condition of grant funding, the I-Codes be incorporated into the design and construction for repair and replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. FEMA requires construction not only meet the latest editions of the IBC, IPC, IFGC, IECC, and IFC, but also the IMC.

The adoption of building codes, including the mechanical code, is not just about the codes. Technical support, in the form of expert advice, code opinions, and technical resources are some of the most sought-after services following adoption of a code.

The Code Council’s expert technical staff provides advice, code opinions, and resources to our more than 60,000 members as a complimentary benefit.

We have several resources, including commentaries and study companions, to support our members and industry professionals in achieving a better understanding of the code and implementing inspection programs.

Numerous training resources are available on the IMC including face to face training and webinars which are led by qualified instructors and HVAC industry leaders.

The Code Council also has a world class digital platform where codes, industry standards and resources can be accessed from one’s computer, tablet, or phone.

The IMC is developed through a governmental consensus process

that involves many interest groups including public safety officials, plumbing contractors, manufacturers, standards development organizations, academia, consumers and many more;

cannot be influenced by vested financial interests;

and is conducted every three years.

Click here for more information on the process or
one of the links below to see an infographic of the process.

(Click to download a jpg or pdf)