International Code Council

The International Code Council (ICC) is an organization that develops a single set of comprehensive international model construction codes focused on building safety and fire prevention. Many ICC Codes (also known as I-Codes) have sections relevant to PV installations, including:

International Building Code (IBC) - The IBC scope covers all buildings except detached one and two family dwellings and townhouses not more than 3 stories in height. This comprehensive code features time-tested safety concepts, structural, and fire and life safety provisions covering means of egress, comprehensive roof provisions, and innovative construction technology. The IBC includes requirements for the fire class rating of PV systems and wind load calculations.

International Fire Code (IFC) - The IFC includes regulations governing the safeguarding of life and property from all types of fire and explosions hazards, which include and pertain to PV systems. Topics include general precautions against fire, fire department access, and fire safety requirements for new and existing buildings and premises. The IFC includes requirements for PV markings, access and spacing, and the location of DC connectors. The latest IFC activities include:

  • IFC change proposals for the 2018 code are due January 11, 2016

International Residential Code (IRC) - The IRC establishes minimum regulations for one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses up to three stories. It brings together all building, plumbing, mechanical, fuel gas, and energy and electrical provisions, which include PV systems for one- and two-family residences. The latest IRC activities include:

  • IRC change proposals for the 2018 code are due January 11, 2016

International Green Construction Code (IGCC) - IGCC is a model code focused on new and existing commercial buildings addressing green building design and performance. The latest IGCC activities include:

  • IRC change proposals for the 2018 code are due January 9, 2017

International Code Council Evaluation Services (ICC-ES) - ICC-ES does technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials. The evaluation process culminates with the issuance of technical reports that directly address the issue of code compliance and are useful to regulatory agencies and building-product manufacturers. Evaluation reports issued by ICC-ES are based upon performance features of the International family of codes. Acceptance criteria outlined within the evaluation reports are issued to provide interested parties with guidelines for demonstrating compliance with performance features of the codes referenced in the criteria.

There are four acceptance criteria relevant to solar. The latest ICC-ES activities include: