Safety Guidelines for Skyscrapers Strengthened in 2009 Intl. Building Code

Jan. 21, 2009
The 2009 edition of Intl. Building Code (IBC), available in March, will better protect occupants of tall buildings, contains new provisions for ambulatory healthcare facilities, and provides guidelines for constructing storm shelters.

Jurisdictions that adopt the 2009 IBC will apply the most modern, scientific and comprehensive building safety provisions available to save lives and protect property. The IBC, developed and published by the Intl. Code Council, is adopted at the state or local level in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The IBC provides modern, comprehensive regulations for building systems to assure they are safe and affordable. Safety provisions include structural, seismic, wind, accessibility, egress, occupancy, and roofs.

New safety features of the 2009 IBC include:
  • An additional stairway for high rises more than 420-feet tall unless the building includes special elevators that can be used for emergency evacuation.
  • Fire service access elevators permitted in high rises more than 120-feet tall.
  • An option to allow emergency evacuation elevators for building occupants.
  • Requirements for more robust fire proofing for buildings greater than 75-feet tall.
  • A new "Ambulatory Health Care" occupancy category to enhance occupant safety at day surgery centers.
  • New guidelines for the design and construction storm shelters, based upon the new International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters, ICC 500-2008.

The Intl. Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties, and states choose the Intl. Codes, building safety codes developed by the Intl. Code Council.

This information was provided by the Intl. Code Council.

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