2021 International Residential CodeĀ®

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3100X21
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This comprehensive code comprises all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas and electrical requirements for one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses up to three stories. The IRC contains many important changes such as:

  • Braced wall lines must be placed on a physical wall or placed between multiple walls.
  • The rated separation for two-family dwellings is 1 hour whether or not a lot line exists between units.
  • Emergency escape and rescue openings require a clear 36-inch-wide path to a public way.
  • An engineered design is required for storm shelters.
  • A habitable attic is limited to one-half the area of the story below and the dwelling requires sprinklers.
  • Updated Wind Speed maps match IBC and ASCE 7 maps.
  • Deck design now considers snow load, tributary area for footing and post height, and guard details.
  • Specific requirements for deck guardrails were added.
  • Component and cladding wind pressures in Table R301.2(2) are updated for new design wind speeds and hip or gable roof profiles.
  • Minimum footing size tables are revised to more accurately reflect current practice.
  • Cripple wall requirements apply only to exterior cripple walls.
  • New appendices for cob construction and 3D printed construction are added.
  • A 30 percent reduction of airflow is permitted for balanced ventilation systems.
  • Commercial gas cooking appliances are prohibited.
  • The head pressure for a water test of DWV systems increased to 10 feet.
  • Air vacuum testing is now permitted for plastic piping DWV systems.
  • Section P2904 for dwelling sprinklers is expanded to more closely align with NFPA 13D.
  • An emergency service disconnect is required in a readily accessible outdoor location.
  • A surge-protective device (SPD) is now required at the service panel.
  • The number of receptacle outlets required for peninsular and island countertops in kitchens is determined by the area of the countertop surface.
  • GFCI protection is now required for damp and wet locations not included in the other 10 areas requiring GFCI protection.

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