• SECTION 202


    In the compilation of a code, each word has the potential to change the meaning of a code section. Further, terms can often have multiple meanings depending on the context in which they are being used. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a section of definitions wherein the writers clarify the specific meaning of certain words in order to manage consistency throughout the document.

    Additionally, many of the definitions found within this chapter reflect the specific needs of performance-based designs. Examples of such terms include “Bounding conditions,” “Construction documents” and “Design documents.”

    The definitions within the ICCPC are primarily self-explanatory but several terms warrant further discussion.

    Bounding conditions

    One of the more important terms used in this document is “Bounding conditions,” which establishes limitations on changes to the building or facility systems or components, maintenance and operation features that are identified as critical or necessary preventative features to provide a safe environment for occupants. “Bounding conditions” are established by the design professional and have concurrence of the code official for performance-based designs. Essentially, “Bounding conditions” establish the sensitivity of a design to change. Such conditions should be contained within the documentation and also attached to a conditional Certificate of Occupancy. This term is also used within the the SFPE’s Code Official’s Guide to Performance-Based Design Review.


    This term is used throughout the document and in particular in Part III as a term indicating that structures or areas other than just buildings are considered to be included in the application of the provisions of this code, such as tank farms and outdoor hazardous materials storage areas. This definition is based on the definition for “Facility” found in the International Fire Code, which includes buildings. However, there was a concern surrounding the potential misapplication of the term with regard to Section 702, Accessibility. Therefore, there was a need for a separate definition for facility that more closely correlates with the ANSI A117.1 standard. A definition was also added for “Essential facilities.” “Essential facilities” relates to the buildings, such as hospitals or shelters, that are needed after an event such as an earthquake or a hurricane. Therefore, there are now three definitions related to facilities, including definition of the term “Facility” as it applies generally to the code, the term “Facility” as it relates to accessibility, and finally the term “Essential facilities,” as discussed above.

    Authoritative documents and design guides

    Using authoritative documents and design guides for analysis, design and justification for use with performance-based design requires a significant standard of care to verify applicability to the intent of the performance code.

    AUTHORITATIVE DOCUMENTS and DESIGN GUIDES include technical references that are widely accepted and utilized by design professionals, professional groups and technical societies that are active in the design of buildings and their systems. These documents should pass through at least one of the following development processes:

    1. Documents developed through open consensus processes conducted by recognized governmental bodies.

    2. Documents developed through open processes but conducted by professional or technical societies, code or standards organizations or recognized governmental bodies.

    3. Documents that have undergone peer review processes and have been published in professional journals, conference reports and recognized technical publications.

    DESIGN GUIDES are developed by architectural professional organizations, engineering professional organizations and technical societies and are published as guidance for use in performance-based design. Standards of practice in performance-based design aid in the selection and application of engineering standards, computational methods and other forms of scientific and technical information that are applicable to the methodologies selected in the design approach. Such documents also add a level of consistency to the process.

    AUTHORITATIVE DOCUMENTS are documents typically developed in forums as identified in Items 1 or 2. DESIGN GUIDES are documents typically developed in forums identified in Items 2 or 3. The above processes are distinguished from a process that incorporates only a limited number of individuals’ opinions. Such limited documents may include research papers, theses, product-specific manufacturer’s guidance documents and other technical papers. Documents that are not considered AUTHORITATIVE DOCUMENTS or DESIGN GUIDES may be able to be used for a design when they comply with Appendix C for “individually substantiated designs.” Because of the limited review of such approaches, Section 104.3.4 specifically requires a peer review of such methods.

    See also the user’s guide to Section 104, Acceptable Methods.

    Serious injury

    A definition for “Serious injury” was necessary to differentiate between other, less severe injuries. This assists in the application and understanding of the levels of impact in Chapter 3.