2012 I-Code Revisions

During this year’s International Roofing Expo held in Orlando, I attended a seminar regarding the 2012 International Codes and how they will affect the roofing industry. There are several revisions throughout the codes that need to be addressed, not only in the International Building Code (IBC 2012), but also the International Fire Code (IFC 2012), the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC 2012), and the International Residential Code (IRC 2012).


  • IBC 2012 – minor changes
  • IFC 2012 – new requirements
  • IRC 2012 – minor changes
  • IECC 2012 – new requirements

I will touch on several of these in this post, but suggest you look at ALL of the codes to familiarize yourselves with the changes.

IBC 2012

  • Section 1503.6 – Crickets and Saddles
    • Unit skylights installed in accordance with Section 2405.5 and flashed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions shall be permitted to be installed without a cricket or saddle.
  • Section 1504.5 – Edge securement for low-sloped roofs
    • Wind load design requirements are clarified as to the ANSI/SPRI ES-1 test methods.
    • Wind maps revised for each building category, i.e. Risk category I, II, III, IV.
    • Wind speed tables revised, Table 1609.3.1.
  • Section 1505.2 – Class A roof assemblies
    • Includes copper sheet over combustible decks
  • Section 1507.2.8.1 High wind attachment
    • Clarifies underlayment attachment in high wind areas. Table 1609.3.1.
  • Section 1507.14.3 Application
    • Adds ASTM standards for SPF roof systems.
  • Section 1507.15 – Liquid Applied Roofing
    • Changes wording from “coatings” to “liquid” applied roof systems. This could mean that re-coating will be deemed an additional roof which could not be re-coated several times.
  • Section 1510.3 – Recovering versus replacement, Exception
    • Added ice barrier.
  • Section 1507.16 – Roof gardens and landscaped roofs
    • Added reference to the IFC and structural loading notes.
  • Section 1505 Fire Classification and Section 1509 Rooftop Structures
    • Added rooftop photovoltaic systems information like wind resistance, fire classification, installation, and the panel and modules themselves. This is due to the fact that electricity is generated in these systems that do not have an on/off switch.

IFC 2012

  • Added complete sections on rooftop photovoltaic regarding permits, access and pathways, residential buildings, smoke ventilation. (Too much to outline here).

IRC 2012

  • Added all the same revisions as in the IBC except:
    • Hail exposure (asphalt shingles) requirement deleted in IRC 2012.
    • Rooftop PV not addressed in IRC 2012 (but is in IFC).
    • Liquid-applied roof membranes not addressed in IRC 2012.
    • Roof gardens and landscaped roofs not addressed in IRC 2012.
    • Kick out flashing and eave drip requirements were added to the IRC 2012.

IECC 2012

  • Clarified Climate Zone on map
  • Added compliance requirements for commercial buildings:
    • Section C401.2 Application – Commercial buildings shall comply with the following: (SEE CODE).
  • Added Chapter 4 – Commercial Energy Efficiency
    • MINIMUM thermal insulation requirements.
    • Clarifies skylight curb requirements.
    • Added Table C402.2 Giving Minimum Insulation by Climate Zone, which clarifies how tapered insulation is calculated (basically, one cannot average the R-Value for tapered insulation; one must start with the minimum R-Value requirement approximately 4’ from low point where the R-Value is taken at low point +1”).
    • Gives minimum solar reflectance requirements for design in Climate Zones 1, 2, and 3.
    • Added Section C402.4 Air Leakage (Mandatory) and description of when, where, and how to comply (except in Climate Zones 1, 2, and 3).

I would highly recommend that all readers take the time to review each of the I-Codes to be familiar with them.