Referenced Standards, What Applies
This question was posed by one of our readers and we thought we would turn it over to you the experts! In order to properly enforce a model building or fire code, it must be formally adopted by the governing body of the municipality where the enforcement occurs.
The adoption process typically occurs when an ordinance is enacted which states the code document which will be utilized and it indicates which additions or deletions to the document will take place.
Codes refer to other codes or standards through out the code text as “referenced standards.” For Instance in section 903 of the International Building Code (IBC) it refers the user to the International Fire Code (IFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard for the Design and Installation of Automatic Sprinkler Systems (13) for the installation of sprinkler systems.
The statement in 903 of the IBC is not intended to give the building code official the full use of the IFC, just the specifically referenced section. This is clarified in section 102.7 of the IFC (Similar code text in NFPA or other I-Code documents)
102.7 Referenced codes and standards. The codes and standards referenced in this code shall be those that are listed in Chapter 47 and such codes and standards shall be considered part of the requirements of this code to the prescribed extent of each such reference. Where differences occur between the provisions of this code and the referenced standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.
So the question becomes as a municipality do you adopt the documents individually, as a code group, or do you just enforce the referenced standards as necessary.
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