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October 15, 2015

Boulder County Building Code Update: 2015 International Codes Adoption & Amendments

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The Boulder County Board of Review met on October 13 as part of Docket BORC-15-0001 - 2015 International Codes Adoption & Amendments. A motion to recommend to the Board of County Commissioners approval and adoption of proposed BOCC Resolution 2015-104, dated October 13, 2015, passed on a Board of Review vote of 5-0.

The following is a summary of the more substantive changes that have been recommended to the Board of County Commissioners by the Board of Review:

  • Update all existing adopted codes from the 2012 to the 2015 editions.
  • Adopt two new model codes, the International Existing Building Code and the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code.
  • Eliminate existing local amendments wherever the published model codes have similar or identical provisions.
  • Newly adopt IBC Appendix K, administrative provisions for the National Electrical Code.
  • Add language to Appendix K to require Level 2 electric vehicle recharging receptacles for new commercial, industrial and multiple-family parking lots.
  • Add language to convert existing nominal design wind speeds to ultimate design wind speeds in alignment with ASCE 7-10.
  • Adopt IRC Appendix E, Manufactured Housing Used As Dwellings, with an amendment that installations comply with Colorado Division of Housing requirements.
  • Add ultimate design wind speed language to the IRC, the same as for the IBC.
  • Exempt open carports that are exempt from residential floor area from the 4,800-sq.-ft total that requires fire sprinklers for additions to existing dwellings.
  • Amend the IRC fire department roof access requirements for solar PV panel spacing to be identical to those required in the City of Boulder Fire Code amendments.
  • Revise ignition-resistant construction (wildfire mitigation) requirements to eliminate the 3 existing hazard zones and have a single set of construction requirements largely based upon the existing high hazard zone requirements; define the latest Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) as the standard for defensible space and allow obtaining a certificate from the Wildfire Partners program as an option for meeting defensible space requirements.
  • Major revisions to the Boulder County BuildSmart program (Chapter 11, IRC) to model the provisions after the published Chapter 11, redefine Conditioned Floor Area (CFA) for BuildSmart purposes to be the area inside of the interior air barrier; decrease the CFA required to be “net zero” for new homes from 6,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft., with accompanying lowering of required HERS scores for homes with 2,000 – 5,000 sq. ft. of CFA; lowering the size of new home that requires a HERS score from 5,000 sq. ft. to 3,500 sq. ft. of CFA; adding requirements that include options for participating in the Energy Star, Zero Energy Ready, Passive House, LEED Platinum or Living Building Challenge programs; and revising requirements, including adding compliance options choices, for additions, alterations and repairs to existing dwellings, including requirements/options for EnergySmart advising or assessment.
  • Include the latest model codes provisions in the IRC and the IPC for non-potable water reuse systems, including gray water and rainwater systems, continuing the existing requirement that all such systems meet the requirements of the Colorado Division of Water Resources and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Adopt the (commercial/multiple-family) Energy Code substantially as published, retaining existing amendments regarding deconstruction and construction jobsite waste reduction and recycling.

The next public hearing regarding the 2015 International Codes Adoption & Amendments is scheduled for October 22.

What: Board of County Commissioners Public Hearing - BORC-15-0001: Staff presentation of the 2015 International Codes Adoption & Amendments in accordance with proposed BOCC Resolution 2015-104. Proposed changes include updates to the 2015 editions of the IBC, IRC, IFGC, IMC, IPC, IECC, IgCC and ICCPC and new adoptions of the 2015 International Existing Building Code and International Swimming Pool & Spa Code, changes to the residential fire sprinkler requirements, updates and revisions to the BuildSmart residential energy and sustainability program and revisions to the ignition-resistant requirements for buildings located in wildfire hazard zones, among others. Public testimony will be taken and limited to 3 minutes per person. This public hearing will be web-streamed on the Commissioners' Hearings and Records page.

When: 2 p.m., Thursday, October 22, 2015

Where: Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room, 3rd Floor, Main Courthouse, 1325 Pearl St., Boulder

All building permit applications received for projects in unincorporated Boulder County are proposed to be subject to the new 2015 codes starting on Monday, January 4, 2016.

Boulder County welcomes input and feedback regarding the proposed 2015 Boulder County Building Code Adoption. Please email with comments. Information on the proposed 2015 Boulder County Building Code Adoption is posted on the Board of Review page.

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