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Re: Model Codes (was Navy Structural Document Source)

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Bill, I am glad to hear that you did check your facts, as I had expected of
you!  :)  I guess it is just a matter of perspective.  I can see why BOCA
would like to say that the MA code is an "adopted" version of their code,
and I can see why SBCCI would take their word for it.  This kind of
back-scratching serves both their interests (and that of ICC).

Yes, it is true, much of the MA code comes from BOCA, especially the
architectural (life-safety) requirements.  I am sure that the Commonwealth
of MA needed permission from BOCA to use the portions they did.   However,
there are so many differences from the model codes, such as in chapters 16,
17, 18, and 23, that to ME it is a different code, not just an adopted

Most of my experience was in CA until this year, and in CA the UBC is
adopted nearly verbatim, with only MINOR changes for commercial,
residential, and industrial buildings.  The changes are documented in the
California Building Standards Code, along with the specific requirements for
schools and hospitals, which ARE significantly different.

The changes to the UBC in California for commercial and residential
buildings are so minor that the VAST MAJORITY of structural engineers in CA
buy only the UBC, and not the California Building Standards Code (usually
there is ONE copy in a medium or large office).

In Massachusetts, if a structural engineer tried to buy only the 1993 BOCA
code (on which the current MA code is loosely based), without buying the
Sixth Edition of the MA State Building Code, s/he would be unable to
practice in this state, for the majority of the structural information would
be missing.

I am curious to hear from others their experiences with the degree of
changes to the model codes in the various states.

Mark Swingle


On 12 Sep 2000 Bill Polhemus wrote:

I stand corrected. Thanks for the info, Mark.

My "facts" came from the following, EXTREMELY USEFUL map on the SBCCI

It clearly shows WI and NY as the only states that have their own codes not
based on a model code.

This map shows MA as having adopted BOCA.

Perhaps you can give SBCCI a call and straighten them out.


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