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Re: building codes

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Building codes are a little like caterpillars.  If you are far enough away,  you can see that the caterpillar is in fact moving up the tree.  If you look at it closely though,  you see that some parts are going up, some parts are going down, and a lot of parts are going sideways.
 
It is not strictly true that everything referenced by the model building codes is a consensus standard (where consensus is loosely taken to mean something that some group of people is allowed to vote on.) 
 
For example, the IBC and UBC reference the PTI Slab on Ground manual.  This is not a consensus standard,  and in fact is not even a standard.  It is kind of a jumble of confusingly written information about soils, some design examples, and recommendations to water your lawn.
 
And as a point of trivia,  despite the name 'ACI 318 Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete', ACI 318 is not a code, it is a standard.  A code is a legal document, a standard is not.  A standard acquires legal authority when it is adopted by a code.
 
A standard like ACI 318 can be adopted directly by the code of a particular jurisdiction,  for example the city of New York Code.  Or it can be adopted by a model code like the IBC which is then adopted by a particular state.
 
Gail Kelley