Applicability of International Existing Building Code

The biggest question that I hear about the International Existing Building Code is “when do we use it versus the other codes”.

The first answer is that you have to be doing a project in a municipality that has adopted it. Many cities and counties adopt the I-Codes but not the IEBC. I’ve had some luck referencing it in municipalities that haven’t officially adopted it, but that’s not something to count on.

If they have adopted the IEBC, then you can look in Section 101 for the answer. The code applies to the repair, alteration, change of occupancy, addition and relocation of existing buildings. Where the building has not been previously occupied, then you still reference the IBC and the IRC. Basically that means you can’t construct a new building and call it existing to circumvent the code. When the building has been previously occupied, it can continue without change except as specified in the Fire Code, the IEBC and the Property Maintenance Code.


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