- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 09 Aug 2018
International Existing Building Code (IEBC)
Building codes are regulations that set out the standards to which buildings and other structures must conform. The International Existing Building Code (IEBC) is a code established in the US by the International Code Council (ICC) and applied by most of the country’s jurisdictions as well as in some other countries internationally, (sometimes amended to reflect local conditions and legislation).
The sets out requirements for repairs, alterations and additions to existing buildings and structures. It applies to work on buildings and structures that were constructed before the introduction of the building code requirements in 2000.
In many cases, the cost of works that would be required to bring a building up to current compliance levels can be prohibitively high. The code provides three options that allow a controlled departure from full compliance with the codes dealing with new construction while at the same time maintaining basic standards for structural performance, fire prevention and other health and safety issues.
The main options provided by the code:
- Existing materials shall be permitted to remain in use unless determined to be unsafe.
- New and replacement materials must conform to the applicable code for new construction.
- The building official has the authority to demand changes or works to be done to eliminate conditions that are deemed dangerous.
- Any additions must comply with the International Building Code (IBC) for new construction.
- Any alterations to the existing building must be such that the building as a whole is no less compliant with the IBC provisions that it was without the alterations.
- The building use or occupancy shall not be changed unless it is made to comply with the IBC.
- Historic buildings that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places do not need to be brought into compliance.
- Structures that are moved must comply with the IBC provisions for new structures.
Option 2: Work shall be done in accordance with a Work Area Compliance Method. This is the most flexible of the three options since specific code provisions are triggered only if the scale and level of work warrant them.
Option 3: Performance method. This is the least used of the three options. It provides the design team with a method of scoring the existing safety conditions of a building. Improvements must then be undertaken to improve the score to an acceptable level.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Alterations to existing buildings.
- Building codes.
- Building regulations.
- Change of use class.
- International building code (IBC).
- International residential code (IRC).
- International Zoning Code (IZC).
- Permitted development.
- Structural engineering codes.
- The role of codes, standards and approvals in delivering fire safety.
- What approvals are needed before construction begins.
Featured articles and news
Their survival against the odds is a remarkable feature of the City’s history.
Immersed, charmed and inspired on conservation’s front line.
About JCT...and the rest
The Centre Building, London School of Economics
Architecture course essentials
Enhancing employee health and wellbeing
Underfloor heating opportunities as world radiator market cools.
Points to consider to make specifying sustainable.
It is not just about speed
The Flatiron Building, New York
Which way up should you lay a brick?