What To Expect in the 2015 I-Codes – Part 2

What To Expect in the 2015 I-Codes – PART 2

by Kelly P. Reynolds ALA Code Consultant

In the last issue I explained some of the changes coming to the 2015 editions of the IBC, IRC & IMC. Here are selected changes for other 2015 I-Codes.


  • ◆  Decorative material requirements were revised to be more compre-

    hensive and provide more details for healthcare occupancies.

  • ◆  Section 910 was revised to address overall smoke removal. Mechanical smoke removal requirements are now revised and clarified.
  • ◆  CO (carbon monoxide alarms) requirements revised to make installation requirements clearer and relocated by Section F360- 13. Educational (E use group) occupancies were added as regu- lated occupancies.
  • ◆  Limited area fire sprinkler system provisions are now more com- prehensive.
  • ◆  A new IFC (and IBC) Section 915 replaces and greatly expands upon existing Section 908.7 on CO detection and alarm provisions.


  • ◆  Public toilet facilities are not required for occupancies that have limited areas for public access. (Author’s Note) This would include places where you just pick up your meal or product and leave and that do not have seating. I have battled for this for years. There is still a requirement for employee toilets.)
  • ◆  Water temperature limiting devices are required for footbaths and head shampoo sinks.
  • ◆  In a replacement water heater installation when a nearby drain point is unavailable for the required pan, a code modification per- mits the pan to be used without a drain line.
  • ◆  Fixtures such as water closets and urinals that utilize nonpotable water must be identified with words and a symbol indicating such. The color purple has been established for identifying water distri- bution piping conveying nonpotable water.
  • ◆  The application of a primer to drain, waste and vent PVC piping and fittings prior to solvent cementing is not required for pipe that is 4-in. or less.
  • ◆  Condensate pumps located in uninhabitable spaces and used with condensing fuel-fired appliances and cooking equipment must be connected to the appliance or equipment to prevent water damage if the pump fails.
  • ◆  The ventilation system for enclosed parking garages must operate continuously or be automatically controlled for intermittent oper- ation utilizing both CO and nitrogen dioxide detectors.
  • ◆  Newtextregulatesthedesignandconstructionofexhaustshaftsthat serve domestic kitchen exhaust systems in multi-story buildings.
  • ◆  Removeobsoleterequirementsthatencouragedoversizepipingof hot water piping to restrooms. Insulation of nearly all hot water pipes in new commercial buildings. (Ever have to run the water for a long time until it becomes hot? This code change should resolve that problem.)


  • ◆  The section on protection of piping has been completely rewritten.
  • ◆  Line regulators installed in rigid piping must have a union installed to permit removal of the regulator.
  • ◆  Specific installation requirements were added for the safe installation of ANSI Z21.69 connectors to commercial cook- ing appliances.
  • ◆  Some new text recognizes the use of dryer exhaust duct power ventilators (DEDPV) for installations that exceed the allowable exhaust duct length for clothes dryers.

    (Continued on page 34)

☞ If you have a code question, you can call me at: 1-800-950-2633 or email: codexperts@aol.com


◆ Climate-appropriate alternative added for buildings located in Tropical Zones.

◆ In the residential requirements, the inclusion of the Energy Rating Index Compliance Alternative as another other path adds more flexibility of the IECC.

  • ◆  Separate Chapters relating to existing buildings were created in both IECC-Commercial and Residential Provisions.


  • ◆  Requirements related to the addition of sleeping units and dwelling units as they relate to the requirements for Accessible units. Type A units and Type B units have been relocated to Chapter 11 on Additions.

◆ The different levels of change of occupancy as required in Chapter 10 have been clarified.


  • ◆  The term “pool and spa” replaces the previous “aquatic vessel” throughout the code.
  • ◆  Fall protection guards for springboards that are greater five (5) feet above the pool deck are now required. The guards will significant- ly reduce injuries from falls from the springboards.
  • ◆  Public pools are now required to have signage indicating how to contact emergency services by phone.

Consider the following:

  • Utilize the site visit to properly document the progress of the file to head off Change Orders by:
    • Establishing actual status of the work versus where the progress should be
    • Document and communicate any devia- tion of the construction schedule to Owner and Contractor
  • Put every change order in writing in a change order log describing the change intended and why the change order was requested.

    For example:

    • Owner requested
    • Material substitution due to unavailabili- ty of the specified materials
    • Difference in site condition (information furnished by others)
    • Hidden or latent defect on the site
    • Contractor requested
    • Change in law after Contract Documents submitted for permitting
    • Subsequent and contradictory interpre- tation of code after Contract Documents submitted for permitting
  • Create a Change Order Excel Spreadsheet that is maintained and able to be quickly furnished to the owner and contractor.

■Organize a meeting of key players in advance, including the general contractor and subcontractor to discuss Change Orders and come to agreements relative to the reason for same.

  • Conduct an in-house peer review of work- ing drawings, specifications and other key documents.
  • Scrutinize drawings closely from project concept to the final stage and invite out- side review.
  • Keep communications open with ongoing, on-site project meetings.
  • Review and revise critical documents sev- eral times during the life of a project.
  • Create and use functional checklists.

    ■Participate in workshops and training related to improving document quality.

    ■Establish accountability for everyone at every stage of document development.

    • Update any system that obstructs develop- ment of quality documents.
    • Carry out a timely project post mortem to identify problem areas.
    • Have a strict company policy, that no one but the owner can waive, requiring that directives be in writing before any work will be done that is over and above or different from what is called for in the contract.
  • Be specific. To avoid misunderstandings, Change Orders should spell out in detail the additional work that is requested or necessary, and they should be signed and dated by all applicable parties. They should always include whatever drawings, specifi- cations, cost estimates, new deadlines and payment terms are necessary to complete the additional work.
  • Don’t agree to open-ended Change Orders. Also known as “time and materials agreements,” these can blow up your budget and strain contractor/owner rela- tionships since they allow the contractor to charge for work as it proceeds and materials and supplies as they are needed. Instead, owners are wise to ask for a fixed sum agreement that obligates the con- tractor to perform work for an agreed upon sum. The contractor must absorb costs if they are greater than estimated or, conversely, can make a greater profit if costs are less than budgeted.
  • Confirm conversations with a letter imme- diately. If you have to see a lawyer, you will be able to explain what happened with more than “he said and I said.”

Willis A&E is the specialist practice group within Willis exclusively dedicated to providing insurance and risk management solutions to Architects and Engineers. Contact Tom Harkins at Tom.Harkins@willis.com.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s