• Introduction

    Internationally, the design and regulatory community has embraced the need for a code that emphasizes performance requirements rather than prescriptive requirements. This need is not unique to the international community. As such, the ICC Performance Code® for Buildings and Facilities (ICCPC®), in this 2012 edition, is designed to meet this need through model code regulations that safeguard the public health and safety in all communities, large and small.

    The ICC Performance Code® for Buildings and Facilities clearly defines the objectives for achieving the intended levels of occupant safety, property protection and community welfare. The code provides a framework to achieve the defined objectives in terms of tolerable levels of damage and magnitudes of design events, such as fire and natural hazards.

    The concepts covered by this code are not intended to be any different in scope than those covered by the 2012 edition of the International Codes® (I-Codes®) published by the International Code Council (ICC)®. However, this code is distinctly different from the other International Codes, which, in many cases, direct the user to a single solution to address a safety concern for a building or facility. The ICCPC allows the user to achieve various solutions, systematically. It should be noted that the family of International Codes, including the International Building Code®,International Energy Conservation Code®, International Existing Building Code®, International Fire Code®, International Fuel Gas Code®, International Green Construction CodeTM(to be available March 2012), International Mechanical Code®, International Plumbing Code®, International Private Sewage Disposal Code®, International Property Maintenance Code®, International Residential Code®, International Swimming Pool and Spa CodeTM (to be available March 2012), International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® and International Zoning Code®,is considered to provide an acceptable solution that will comply with the ICCPC. Conversely, this code provides a procedure to address design and review issues associated with the alternative materials and methods sections of the codes cited above.

    It is strongly recommended that users of this code consult the user’s guide located in the second portion of this publication to gain additional insight into the provisions of this code.

    The ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities provisions provide many benefits, including the model code development process, which offers an international forum for design professionals, code officials and other interested parties to discuss performance code requirements. This forum provides an excellent arena to debate proposed revisions. This model code also encourages international consistency in the application of provisions.


    The first edition of the ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities (2001) was the culmination of an effort initiated in 1996 by the ICC. This effort included two drafting committees, Fire and Building, appointed by the ICC and consisting of representatives of the three statutory members of the International Code Council at that time, including: Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI). The intent was to draft a comprehensive set of performance regulations, consistent in scope with the existing model codes, but with a performance emphasis. A new edition of the code is promulgated every three years.

    This code is founded on principles intended to establish provisions consistent with the scope of a performance code that adequately protect public health, safety and welfare; provisions that do not unnecessarily increase construction costs; provisions that do not restrict the use of new materials, products or methods of construction; and provisions that do not give preferential treatment to particular types or classes of materials, products or methods of construction.


    The ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities is available for adoption and use by jurisdictions internationally. Its use within a governmental jurisdiction is intended to be accomplished through adoption by reference in accordance with proceedings establishing the jurisdiction’s laws. At the time of adoption, jurisdictions should insert the appropriate information in provisions requiring specific local information, such as the name of the adopting jurisdiction. These locations are shown in bracketed words in small capital letters in the code and in the sample ordinance. The sample adoption ordinance on page xiii addresses several key elements of a code adoption ordinance, including the information required for insertion into the code text. In addition, because of the reliance of most performance-based design on proper maintenance of building and fire protection systems, it is recommended that a jurisdiction adopt this code in its entirety.


    The ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities is kept up to date through the review of proposed changes submitted by code enforcing officials, industry representatives, design professionals and other interested parties. Proposed changes are carefully considered through an open code development process in which all interested and affected parties may participate.

    The contents of this work are subject to change both through the code development cycles and the governmental body that enacts the code into law. For more information regarding the code development process, contact the Codes and Standards Development Department of the International Code Council.

    While the development procedure of the ICC Performance Code for Buildings and Facilities assures the highest degree of care, ICC, its members and those participating in the development of this code do not accept any liability resulting from compliance or noncompliance with the provisions, because the ICC does not have the power or authority to police or enforce compliance with the contents of this code. Only the governmental body that enacts the code into law has such authority.

    Code Development Committee Responsibilities

    In each code development cycle, proposal changes to this code are considered by the ICC Performance Code Development Committee.

    Note that, for the development of the 2015 edition of the I-Codes, there will be two groups of code development committees and they will meet in separate years. The groupings are as follows:

    Group A Codes
    (Heard in 2012, Code Change Proposals Deadline: January 3, 2012)
    Group B Codes
    (Heard in 2013, Code Change Proposals
    Deadline: January 3, 2013)
    International Building CodeAdministrative Provisions (Chapter 1 all codes except IRC and ICC PC, administrative updates to currently referenced standards, and designated definitions)
    International Fuel Gas CodeInternational Energy Conservation Code
    International Mechanical CodeInternational Existing Building Code
    International Plumbing CodeInternational Fire Code
    International Private Sewage
    Disposal Code
    International Green Construction Code
    ICC Performance Code
    International Property Maintenance Code
    International Residential Code
    International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
    International Wildland-Urban Interface Code
    International Zoning Code

    It is very important that anyone submitting code change proposals understand which code development committee is responsible for the section of the code that is the subject of the code change proposal. For further information on the code development committee responsibilities, please visit the ICC web site at

    Marginal Markings

    The 2012 edition does not include any margin markings as the text has remained unchanged from the 2009 edition.

    Italicized Terms

    Selected terms set forth in Chapter 2, Definitions, are italicized where they appear in code text. Such terms are not italicized where the definition set forth in Chapter 2 does not impart the intended meaning in the use of the term. The terms selected have definitions which the user should read carefully to facilitate better understanding of the code.