International Building Code and Residential Code 2012 and 2015

Architect and Blueprints
Architect and Blueprints. Getty / Hero Images

Summary

The International Building Code (IBC) and International Residential Code (IRC) are written and administered by a group called the International Code Council (ICC). 

These codes cover commercial and residential building and remodeling.  Both are available online for a charge and portions are available for free.

IBC vs. IRC vs. ICC:  Sorting Out the Alphabet Soup

  • ICC:  The ICC is in charge of a wide range of codes that will not apply to your home remodel or build (or only slightly), such as codes for property maintenance, swimming pools and spas, fuel gas, sewage, and many more. But a number of codes do apply--the IBC and IRC.
  • IBC:  The International Building Code contains regulations about commercial construction
  • IRC:  The International Residential Code contains about residential construction (which also touches on home remodeling issues).  

Model vs. Local Building Codes

The IBC are IRC are model codes for building structures that communities can adopt and adapt in-part as needed.  They are not legal as-is.

If you want to lay a floor in Tallahassee or hang drywall in Poughkeepsie--whatever you are doing home remodeling-wise--chances are good that your local actions are dictated by these international codes.

Consulting the IBC or IRC may not necessarily apply to that floor in Tallahassee (but it might, since some municipalities adopt the code in-whole).

Only after a community adopts a building code does it become legal.

IBC and IRC 2015 - Paid

The surest way to have the IBC on hand and up to date is to buy it from the ICC.

 The International Residential Code costs $96.  

IBC 2015 Online - Free

IBC 2012 Online- Free

Though it has an official-sounding name, Public Resource is a volunteer operation run by Carl Malamud, out of San Francisco, CA.

 

Malamud and a group of scanners believe that public information should be public.  Archive.org is the host site for Public Resource activities.  

IBC 2006, 2010, and 2012:  States and Cities

The IBC as adopted by sixteen U.S. states and four U.S. cities (Phoenix, Boulder, LA, New York, Seattle)