Code Tip of the Month
International Code Council: Publishing 2021 Codes
Presented by Jeff O’Neill, AIA, ACHA, CHFM
The ICC model codes are adopted by most, if not all, local jurisdictions for construction, maintenance and fire safety of buildings, including hospitals. The ICC has just published their 2021 codes and localities are poised to adopt them, especially if they have “evergreen” clauses for automatic adoption.
There are healthcare specific chapters in the International Building Code (IBC), including chapter 407 Group I-2 (Hospital and Nursing Home) Occupancies and chapter 422 Ambulatory Care Facilities. It is important to understand these requirements, as work has been done in the last few cycles to provide alignment with the codes required by CMS.
Key changes in these healthcare-related chapters are:
- Allowances for domestic cooking appliances in hospitals (407.2.7) and ambulatory care (422.7), when proper protections and procedures are in place.
- Clarification of doors to align with federal standards, including their construction to ensure solid material, allow for dutch doors, clarify undercuts (407.3.3.1), access to corridors from care suites (407.4.4.3), and activation of automatic closing doors (407.6.1).
The ICC also publishes a companion document to the I-codes, including the IBC, that lists out the differences for healthcare and all related chapters.