The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has approved a new commercial building code edition, the 8th Edition, effective August 6, 2010 which is based on the 2009 International Building Code. Projects currently in design can still utilize the 7th Edition for new building permits for approximately 6 months. During this ‘concurrency period’ project teams may choose to utilize either the 7th Edition or the new 8th Edition 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.
According to the Board of Building Regulations & Standards, 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 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, eighth edition will soon be available at the Secretary of State’s Bookstore located in the State House @ the intersection of Beacon and Park Streets in Boston; across from the Boston Common. It will also be available on line @ http://www.sec.state.ma.us/spr/spridx.htm
No immediate action is required of Building Owners and Tenants due to these changes; however, Due Diligence, Strategic Real Estate Planning and Development, and Budgeting for existing and new buildings should acknowledge upcoming requirements.