Code Counts

ICC Code Counts

Code Counts is an email newsletter for the code community brought to you by ICC. Inside each issue, you can find valuable news and perspective from the rest of the industry on matters of codes and standards, as well as resources that can help code officials do their job more effectively.

The Other Tall Building System

A fast-growing circle of building designers has begun to specify a new building system for mid-rise and tall building structures. The performance and safety characteristics of this building material have captured the imagination of architects and evidence of this growing phenomenon is mounting with dozens of projects being specified worldwide.

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Designing for Earthquake Safety

At precisely 4:30 on the morning of Monday, Jan. 17, 1994, a blind thrust earthquake rocked southern California for a terrifying 10 - 20 seconds. Though considered a “moderate” tremor on the Richter scale, the Northridge earthquake registered the fastest peak ground velocity ever instrumentally recorded in North America. Property damage was an estimated $40 billion, ranking it among the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history.

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Designing for Fire Safety

During the week of October 21, 2012, the International Code Council (ICC) approved language for the 2015 International Building Code (IBC) that declared cross-laminated timber (CLT) was approved as a building element for nonresidential structures (2015 IBC 602.4).

This breakthrough codification of CLT quickly inspired a wide variety of mass timber development—from schools and offices to mid-rise/multifamily, civic, institutional, industrial and retail—and the code enforcement that goes with it. Today a new class of CLT-based mid-rise structures are in active development in Minneapolis, New York City, and Portland, Oregon.

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The Rise of Wood in School Construction

Doing more with less is a central credo for many public school systems today. When it comes to new school construction, how that belief manifests itself is taking many U.S. school districts in interesting new directions.

That helps explain the rising emergence of wood construction in school building, especially panelized products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) and prefabrication. This growing trend means code officials should have even greater familiarity with building code-compliant wood-frame elementary, middle school, and high schools.

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Manage the Damage

International Code Council members stand as the first line of defense in applying building codes to the construction of safe, sustainable, and more affordable and resilient structures. The entire month of May pays tribute to that distinguished service with the 37th annual Building Safety Month. This installment of Codes Counts concentrates on the theme of week three of Building Safety Month: Manage the Damage – Preparing for Natural Disasters.

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