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Newly released mass timber guidebook delves into international building codes

Newly released mass timber guidebook delves into international building codes

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Wood Council (AWC) and the International Code Council have released a joint publication, Mass Timber Buildings and the IBC, containing an overview of requirements for mass timber construction as found in the most recent international building codes.

The document highlights changes beginning with the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), which allows for construction of mass timber buildings with larger heights and areas than was permitted for buildings of wood construction types prior to the 2015 IBC, stated an Aug. 4 release. The document reviews the 2015 IBC recognition of cross-laminated timber and the reorganization of heavy timber provisions in the 2018 IBC, followed by the significant changes in the 2021 IBC and International Fire Code for tall mass timber construction.

In addition, the Code Council and AWC will co-present two full-day courses on Mass Timber Buildings and the IBC this fall. The course will cover provisions in the 2015/2018 IBC for Mass Timber Construction as well as provide an overview of Tall Mass Timber Construction as prescribed in the 2021 IBC and 2021 IFC.

“The ICC Tall Wood Building Ad Hoc Committee recommendations were based on rigorous fire and life safety equivalent performance and testing. As a result, the ICC membership’s approval of tall mass timber code provisions in the 2021 IBC permit mass timber to be used in lieu of traditional tall building materials,” said AWC vice-president of codes and regulations Kenneth Bland in a statement. “Given the anticipated demand across the country for taller mass timber buildings, this publication provides the building safety community with comprehensive explanations of the new regulations.”

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