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Building codes provide safeguards to life and property, and protect the public welfare by regulating design and construction practices.
In the United States, the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC) are developed as model codes by the International Code Council. These codes are adopted and enforced by authorities having jurisdiction at the state or local levels.
In Canada, the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes directs the development of the model national building and fire codes. The adoption and enforcement of these codes are the responsibility of provincial and territorial authorities having jurisdiction.
Product & Test Standards
Importantly, building codes also set minimum performance requirements for construction materials by incorporating references to product standards and material test standards. These standards are developed by various standard-setting organizations, including ASTM International, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Factory Mutual (FM), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC).