What You Might Want to Know About the New Building Codes

If you have been considering any building or remodeling projects, please note that new building and utility codes (2015 International series and 2014 National Electric Code) were adopted on June 1, 2015 by City Council, with an effective date of July 1, 2015.
Codes are adopted, and sometimes permits and inspections are required, ensuring the protection of people and property. Whether you are building new structures or developing existing ones, you want it done in a safe and effective manner. We want to help you make sure that the work plans and materials will result in a building that is safe for residential, commercial, or any other use.
REMEMBER: Permits should be obtained before the start of any work that is covered by the permit. If you are not sure whether you need a permit, read our checklist or contact us.
Changes from our former codes are numerous and complex. New codes will apply only to new buildings or related renovations. If something is unclear, call or email us and let us help you.
For the residential contractor/builder:

  • A new type of electrical breaker is now required for new or upgraded electric. The arc-fault circuit interrupter section will now be enforced. This provision also applies when an existing branch circuit is modified replaced or extended by more than 6’-0”.
  • A smoke detector is now required within 3 feet of a bathroom that contains a bathtub or shower.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors now require interconnection and battery backup.
  • All laundry area receptacles are required to be GFI protected.
  • A receptacle is required for each vehicle space in a garage.
  • The design wind speed increased from 90mph to 115mph.
  • Fire protection is now required on the bottom of manufactured i-joists. This protection may be ½” gypsum board, 5/8” wood structural panel, or equivalent material.

 
For the commercial contractor/designer:

  • Previously, all areas used for manufacture, storage and display/sale of furniture required a fire sprinkler system. Now there are threshold square footages, above which a sprinkler system is required. If the manufacturing or storage area exceeds 2500 square feet or if the display/sale area exceeds 5000 sq. ft. fire sprinklers are required.
  • Education occupancies (K-12) now require manual fire alarms when the occupant load exceeds 30. Previously the threshold was 50 occupants.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors are now required for all residential and institutional uses when there are fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage.
    Service sinks are no longer required in business or mercantile uses if the occupant load is less than 15.
  • If a facility is only required to have one restroom, it is allowed to be unisex, in lieu of providing one restroom per gender.
  • Spaces with 300 sq ft or less of public access area no longer require a restroom for customers.
  • Locator wires are required on sanitary laterals and water service lines located within the right of way. This section was added to the code locally to comply with new Missouri One Call regulations.
  • In buildings where emergency responder radio signal cannot penetrate the building, signal boosting equipment is required to be installed.
  • Fire sprinklers are required in high–rise construction. This is a retroactive requirement.
    The number of required receptacles for patient bed locations and operating rooms has increased.
  • Disconnects are required at signs.

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