At its Final Action Hearings in Minneapolis, the International Code Council and its members debated and voted on code change proposals that will shape the future of building safety and fire prevention. The hundreds of approved code changes will be included in the 2009 version of the International Codes.
Among the major changes approved:
- Fire sprinklers are required in all new one- and two-family residences
beginning Jan. 1, 2011.
- Fire sprinklers are required in all new townhomes.
- Carbon monoxide detectors are required in homes with attached garages or
fuel-fired equipment such as gas furnaces, gas stoves and gas water heaters.
- A new standard, ANSI/APSP-7-06, brings the I-Codes in line with the Virginia
Graeme Baker Federal Pool and Spa Safety Act of 2007. It addresses suction
entrapment avoidance in swimming pools, wading pools, spas, hot tubs and catch
- For skyscrapers, buildings greater than 420 feet in height, an additional stairwell is required to assist firefighter access to upper floors. The additional stairwell is not required if the building includes special elevators that can be used to evacuate occupants during an emergency.
- A requirement to install programmable thermostats in new homes and buildings
with forced air furnaces.
- High-efficiency light bulbs required in at least 50 percent of permanent
lighting fixtures in new homes.
- Maximum fenestration u-factors are lowered in warmer climates to reduce the
amount of heat loss or gain through windows and doors to lower energy costs
during cooling periods.
- An increase in insulation R-values for walls, floors and basements in cold climates to achieve heating and cooling savings.