Community: Building Code Questions

Q & A Instructions

[Click map to enlarge]

The GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com web site has a wealth of articles on a wide variety of construction topics. Before posting your question, you may want to check out the articles on this page: How To Do Everything. You just might discover an article there that provides the information you seek.

Please register for a free account or sign in to ask and answer green building questions.

If you want to post a question, the usual rules of courtesy apply:
1. Be nice.
2. If you can't be nice, be polite.
3. If you can't be nice or polite — well, please be brief.

To attach a photo or illustration: Under the box labeled “More explanation,” look for the words “File attachments.” Click that, and you should be able to attach a photo.

Thanks for joining the conversation!


0 Answers

gravel compaction code/guidelines?

Are there guidelines or code requirements for the force of gravel compactors? I am wondering about what size machine to use; is a 4000 lbf machine large enough, or does one need 5000 lbf? I plan on compacting damp gravel/fines in 8" lifts under my footers, around the foundation walls, and under the slab. One manufacturer said their 4000 lbf machine would be plenty adequate, one manufacturer said their 2475 lbf machine will compact to 12" (probably ideal conditions), and a gent on another forum said to only compact 4" at a time.

Asked By John Klingel | Mar 30 10
8 Answers

Green Permits

I learned today that a couple of builders I work with "volunteered" me to meet with one of our local Codes Departments next week to explain, and possibly help develop the process for, a streamlined Green Permitting Process. While there is good information here in the Code Green Blog, I am curious if anyone else has been through this process with their Codes Department? If so, I would appreciate any comments or suggestions related to your experience.

Asked By Grant Dorris | Feb 4 10
5 Answers

Convincing a code official about location of Vapor Retarder

So I am working with a client renovating their attic space for a master bedroom. The existing knee walls has kraft face batt insulation with no sheathing of any kind on the attic side of the wall. Which we all know renders the batt insulation useless.I am proposing to install 2" of foil faced polyiso on the attic side. I am able to find the Legacy report from the manufacturer stating it can be left exposed in these types of conditions. And I was just reading the Q&A about the Correct use of foam insulation.

Asked By Joshua Lloyd | Mar 5 10
12 Answers

A statement from Icynene

Those following the spirited discussion that followed the posting of "It's OK To Skimp On Insulation" may be interested to learn that a senior representative from Icynene has posted a response.

Paul Duffy, Icynene's vice president for engineering, posted his response today (Feb. 11 at 1:52 pm). Find it here:
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/it-s-ok-skimp-ins...

Asked By Martin Holladay | Feb 11 10
2 Answers

HERS rating and new Energy Codes

I have attended several new building code seminars here in Massachusetts that discuss the implications of the 2009 IECC Code as part of the 2008 Green Communities Act. In addition, this act allows municipalities the option of setting above code energy efficiency requirements for commercial and residential projects. Labeled the 'Stretch Code' and backed by $10M in funding, this code is noted as a practical way to demonstrate life-cycle energy efficiency.

The Stretch Code employs the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) with thresholds related to home sizes.

Asked By Jon Wyman | Feb 18 10
1 Answer

Graywater system questions

I would like to build a small cottage with a composting toilet and a graywater system for the sinks and shower.
I need plans and a contractor perhaps.
Any advice when dealing with the code officer?

Asked By Matthew Walton | Feb 11 10
3 Answers

Where in the IRC 2009, Chapter 11, is the cathedral ceiling limited to 500 square feet or 20%?

I can find no reference to 20%. This requirement is, I read it, for ceilings that can't meet the specified thermal resistance and are allowed to downgrade. Obviously this limit would not apply if the ceiling is fully insulated.

Asked By Peter d'Entremont | Dec 8 09
4 Answers

Visual vs testing for air leakage in IRC '09

Hello- I am cruising through my (newly fatter) copy of IRC '09, reviewing the upcoming changes, and this one caught my eye; in Energy Efficiency, Chapter 11 N1102.4.2.1 and N1102.4.2.2. These are the options for inspection to air sealing and insulation. I get a little confused. It looks like a builder can either: 1: do his own blower door test, or hire someone to do one, or 2: have the building inspector do a visual inspection of a fairly stringent nature. In addition, it looks like the inspector can require a 3rd party visual inspection for insulation and air tightness. Hmmm.

Asked By T.C. Feick | Nov 12 09
2 Answers

What is the code-required lap joint overlap needed on a 2/12 roof?

I HAVE A 2/12 (permitted) LEAN-TO STYLE ROOF IN TAMPA, FL. JOISTS ARE 16 O.C. THEN PLYWOOD AND CLIPS, THEN 30 WEIGHT FELT PAPER WITH THE STANDARD 3 INCH LAP JOINT. FELT IS NAILED OFF 6 INCCHES O.C. ON THE LAPS, AND 12 INCHES O.C. IN THE FIELD. I PLAN ON INSTALLING 5V CRIMP 26 GAUGE METAL IN ONE PIECE FROM RIDGE PEAK TO TAIL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ROOF. THE INSPECTOR SAID THAT HE THINKS WHAT I HAVE ON THE PRINTS WILL PROBABLY BE ALRIGHT, BUT HE NEEDS IT IN WRITING BEFORE HE CAN PASS ME. CAN YOU PLEASE SEND THE THE FL # OR SPECS THAT I NEED? THANK YOU, JON BRIGGS (407) 301-4527

Asked By JON | Nov 15 09
Register for a free account and join the conversation


Get a free account and join the conversation!
Become a GBA PRO!