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Building Codes in Georgia

Georgia follows several building codes that ensure the safe construction of buildings in the state. Every engineering or construction professional in Georgia should be aware of ways to find the most recent building codes in Georgia. Georgia has a Construction Code Program that instructs the industry on the different state building codes. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides information on Georgia construction laws and building codes.

 

Georgia has 14 "state minimum standard codes" and each of these separate codes usually include of a base code and a set of Georgia amendments to the base code. Georgia law dictates that 8 of these codes are Mandatory and apply to all construction whether they are locally enforced or not and 2 are Permissive and are applicable only if a local government decides to adopt and enforce one or more of these codes. The codes are mentioned below:

 

  • Mandatory Codes:
    • Standard Building Code (International Building Code)
    • National Electrical Code
    • Standard Gas Code (International Fuel Gas Code)
    • Standard Mechanical Code (International Mechanical Code)
    • CABO One and Two Family Dwelling Code (International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings)
    • Georgia State Energy Code for Buildings (International Energy Conservation Code)
    • International Fire Code
    • Standard Plumbing Code (International Plumbing Code)

Building Codes in Georgia

 

  • Permissive Codes:
    • Standard Housing Code (International Property Maintenance Code)
    • Standard Existing Building Code (International Existing Building Code)

 

The building, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, gas, CABO one-and-two family dwelling, energy and fire codes are mandatory codes, signifying that under Georgia law, any structure built in Georgia must conform to these codes, whether the local government prefers to locally enforce these codes or not. Besides, as per Georgia law the specified codes are applicable statewide, local governments do not require to adopt the mandatory codes in order to implement them. The local government can however opt which of the mandatory codes it prefers to locally enforce.

 

Code Type Code Model
Building/Dwelling Code IBC 2006 w/Georgia amendments (2010)
Structural Code IBC 2006 w/Georgia amendments (2010)
Plumbing Code IPC 2006 w/Georgia amendments (2011)
Mechanical Code IMC 2006 w/Georgia amendments (2011)
Electrical Code NEC 2008 w/Georgia amendments (2009)
Fire/Life Safety Code IFC 2006 w/Georgia amendments (2010)
Accessibility Code ADAAG (Georgia Access Law, Chapter 120-3-20)
Energy Code IECC 2009 w/Georgia amendments (2011)
Gas Code IFGC 2006 w/Georgia amendments (2010)
Other Codes Energy Code Compliance Software Programs: REScheck, formerly MECcheck, for residential Georgia

 

Though Georgia adopts several international building codes, it has its own amendments. Some of the adopted international/ national codes that are part of Georgia building-code law as of 2010 are as follows:

 

  • International Building Code
  • International Residential Code for One-and-Two-Family Dwellings
  • International Fire Code
  • International Plumbing Code
  • International Mechanical Code
  • International Fuel Gas Code
  • National Electrical Code
  • International Energy Conservation Code

 

The contractor needs to determine an international code to know the Georgia amendments and if there are any local amendments as well as each local area in Georgia can make specific amendments to the international codes and Georgia amendments. Besides, each Georgia local area can also adopt the International Existing Building Code, the International Property Maintenance Code or both. The original Georgia building codes are consist of the international codes plus the Georgia state and local amendments.

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