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RE: building codes

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> Quick question: what is the difference between UBC & IBC?
> Who is responsible for the UBC & IBC?
> Where do the AISC, ACI codes and NEHRP & ASCE 7 come into
> play?
> Is there some kind of a hierarchy among all this?

Yes, those were very quick questions, with no quick answers.   I don?t know
if others have answered yet (I appear to be having difficulty with my
email), but I?ll give the last two questions a shot.  I'll let someone else
tackle the first and second questions.

I wouldn?t call it a ?hierarchy?, the there are different "levels" of code
development here in the USA:

1. Research is continuously done on everything (loads and materials);
reports, papers, and findings are published.

2a. ASTM, ANSI, AWS, etc. publishes specific material standards.
2b. FEMA publishes the NEHRP recommendations on seismic loads based upon
seismic research. 

3a. Trade and technical organizations (ACI, AISC, AF&PA, AISI, AITC,
initials ad nausea) publish ?Consensus Standards? based upon material
specific standards and research.  These standards are updated regularly by
3b. ASCE and other organizations publish ?Standards? for loads, with
different publications for different load types.  ASCE 7 is the standard for
typical buildings.  The Seismic portion of ASCE 7 largely relies on the
NEHRP publication.  

4. The model building codes incorporate all of the consensus standards from
step 3, in addition to similar standards from ALL other fields (plumbing,
electrical, HVAC, fire safety, ADA access, etc.) into a single document,
sometimes just by reference.  The chapter on steel design in the 2000 IBC
consists of 6 pages, which mostly say to go look in the steel industry
standard documents for more information.

5. A model building code is adopted into law by some controlling government
entity (state, county, city, etc.), usually with changes.  Some areas are
not controlled by ANY building code.  For example, Missouri, USA, does not
have a state building code, and it is against state law for ?3rd-class?
counties to adopt a local building code.

So what you use for design depends on where the project is.  If it?s in
California, you use the California Building Code, which is currently a
modified version of the 1997 UBC.  If it's in Indiana, you use the Indiana
Building Code, which is a modified version of the 2000 IBC.  If it?s in
rural Missouri, you use the consensus standards in step 3 unless you or your
client CHOOSES to use one of the model building codes in step 4.

Jason Kilgore
Leigh & O'Kane, LLC
Kansas City, Missouri

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