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BBRS Approves 8th Edition of Commercial Building Code

Type:  Announcements  

Information provided courtesy of the Boston Society of Architects Codes Committee: 


The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) approved the eighth edition of the commercial building code on June 8, 2010.  The new edition is based on the 2009 International Building Bode (IBC) and became effective August 6, 2010.


The eighth edition of the building code is different from previous Massachusetts editions in several aspects.


The eighth edition is comprised of the 2009 IBC and a set of specific Massachusetts amendments. Unlike previous editions, amendments are not incorporated into this version of the code; rather, they are provided as a separate amendment package. The manner in which the new code is published is similar to other New England states that adopt the international building code and publish a set of specific amendments.


The eighth edition specifically recognizes the 2009 International Existing Building Code (IEBC) with separate Massachusetts amendments. Therefore, the 2009 IEBC replaces the unique Chapter 34 of earlier editions.

The eighth edition also recognizes other 2009 International Codes, including the International Energy Conservation Code, the International Mechanical Code and certain sections of the International Fire Code.


The new commercial building code will be available soon at the Secretary of State's Bookstore located in the State House at the intersection of Beacon and Park Streets in Boston (across from the Boston Common). Please call the bookstore at 617-727-2834 for information as to how to acquire the new code and amendment package or visit the the online bookstore at:   All international codes also may be purchased directly through the, the International Code Council.


An "unofficial" version of only the Massachusetts amendment package will be placed on the Department of Public Safety website  by mid-August.   The Secretary of State is the official keeper of the records for this and all Massachusetts regulations. 


As with all new editions of the building code, the BBRS typically assigns a concurrency period of approximately six months. During the concurrency period, a code user may choose to use either the seventh or eighth edition of the code without mixing provisions.  At the conclusion of the concurrency period, the seventh edition is retired and the eighth edition becomes the sole code in effect.  The BBRS will be determine a specific concurrency period at its August 10 meeting.


The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS)    will begin training municipal building officials on requirements of the new code beginning in September.


Meanwhile, the BBRS and its staff are drafting an amendment package specific to the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC), which will form the basis of the eighth edition of the Massachusetts code for single- and two-family dwellings.   They have planned a public hearing for November  2010 to consider testimony relating to the adoption of the 2009 IRC and the referenced amendment package.  Once completed, the Massachusetts Building Code (both the commercial and single- and two-family dwelling codes) will be updated to the most recent standards established by the International Code Council.


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