I’ve compiled some of the code resources I currently use, in hopes that some of them might be helpful to you. If there are other websites that you visit for code information, please leave a comment and I’ll add them to the list.
Building Codes Forum: www.thebuildingcodeforum.com/forum/forum.php
I joined this discussion forum in 2009, and since then I have asked and answered many questions of the code officials and other codey people that frequent the site. There are almost 5,000 members and there have been over 100,000 posts to date. The site is free (although you can make a donation if you’re so inclined), and if you register you will be able to post questions and add comments. You can read the discussions without registering, but I highly recommend joining and getting involved.
There is now a Doors and Hardware forum, which I am helping to moderate. I’m hoping that all of the door and hardware lovers reading this right now will visit the D&H forum and add your 2 cents’ worth. It’s a great opportunity to get feedback from the AHJs on the issues that you’ve been struggling with.
Here are a few of the door-related discussions posted before we had a dedicated forum:
International Code Council: www.iccsafe.org
The ICC is responsible for the International Building Code, International Fire Code, ICC A117.1 – Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, and a multitude of other codes. The areas of the site that I most commonly use are:
National Fire Protection Association: www.nfpa.org
NFPA also offers free access to their codes and standards if you register with their site. You can review several editions of each code, as well as the code change proposals or other information from the code development process.
Reed Construction Data: www.reedconstructiondata.com/building-codes/
Reed has compiled code information about each state and some cities, including the current codes and contact information. If you find something that is not up-to-date, just let them know and they will update it.
LinkedIn Groups: www.linkedin.com
If you haven’t joined LinkedIn, filled out your profile, uploaded your photo, and joined some groups, you should! It’s a great way to keep in touch with all of your contacts, but you can also participate in group discussions on anything from fire door modifications to access control. Here are a few of the groups I belong to on LinkedIn:
The Door and Hardware Institute (DHI)
Fire Door Inspectors Group
National Fire Protection Association
CSI – Construction Specifications Institute
Door and Hardware Institute’s Fire Door Assembly Inspection Group
International Fire Door Inspector Association
These two directories will allow you to search by manufacturer to find a specific certification. These come in handy when someone needs confirmation that it’s acceptable to use a certain product on a fire door.
State Codes Online:
Many state codes are now available online, most of them for free. They may not be as easy to search as a purchased and downloaded pdf, but if you know what you’re looking for you can usually navigate to the correct location within the online code. Here are a few examples that I found…if you would like me to add other states to the list, feel free to leave a comment with the URL.
Many of these state websites include a way to email a question. It may take some time to get the reply, but as long as you’re patient it’s a great resource.
These sites allow you to download the ADA and UFAS standards for free. There is lots of other helpful information here as well.
What other resources do you use for code information? I’d love to include your recommendations here!