Now in its fifth edition, the IRC contains many important changes including:
- A new Seismic Design Category (SDC) map that results in smaller SDC E regions. Some previous SDC E areas will now be SDC D2.
- A new wind map delineates areas requiring design to resist wind forces.
- A new map identifies windborne debris regions.
- A new table for minimum fire separation distance for dwellings equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system. The new table provides for reducing the fire separation distance for non-rated exterior walls from 5 feet to 3 feet. Also, a new section allows a sprinkled garage to take advantage of the reduced fire separation distance.
- Doors between the garage and dwelling unit now require self-closing devices.
- Wireless smoke alarms are now specifically permitted for satisfying the interconnection requirements in both new and existing dwelling units.
- The provisions for roof connections to resist wind uplift forces have been updated and simplified. A new table provides prescriptive values for both low and high slope roofs in wind exposure categories B and C.
- When a parapet is not installed, openings and penetrations of the roof are no longer permitted within 4 feet of the separating wall between townhouse dwelling units./li>
- The IRC now includes prescriptive provisions for the construction of isolated masonry pier foundations supporting raised floor systems.
- Installation of œ-inch gypsum board or equivalent is now required on the underside of floor assemblies of cold-formed steel framing, I-joists, open web trusses and similar light-frame members.
- The IRC Wall Bracing provisions have been completely reorganized to place each topic in a separate section and improve the flow of information.
- New simplified wall bracing provisions offer an alternative method of bracing in low seismic regions with basic wind speeds of 90 mph and exposure category A or B.
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