Now in its fifth edition, the 2012 IBC contains many important changes:
- All definitions are included in Chapter 2.
- Classifications for a variety of health-care related facilities have been clarified.
- Covered- and open-mall provisions revised to fully address the construction of open malls.
- Occupancies not specifically scoped under the unlimited area building provisions are now permitted where in compliance as accessory occupancies.
- Clarified provisions for incidental-use rooms and spaces.
- Modified provisions addressing exterior wall projections.
- Reformatted requirements for protection of vertical openings through floors.
- Automatic sprinkler systems required where furniture and mattresses are manufactured or stored.
- Increased capacity for stairways and other egress components in buildings with sprinklers and an emergency communication system.
- Clarification of when unenclosed stairways can be used as a part of the means of egress system, including how travel distance is measured.
- In three- and four-exit buildings, some exits are now permitted to serve a portion of a story rather than an entire story.
- Means of egress provisions unique to special occupancies are now in Chapter 4.
- Wind design requirements extensively revised.
- Wind load maps are now based on ultimate design wind speeds.
- New terminology for wind speeds.
- Updated seismic ground motion maps.
- The term “occupancy category” changed to “risk category.”
- Special inspection requirements for structural steel and masonry construction are now based on referenced standards.
- Penetration firestop and fire-resistant joint systems in high-rise buildings and in Risk Category III or IV structures require special inspection.
- Modifications to the seismic provisions of ACI 318 Appendix D.
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