The International Mechanical Code establishes minimum regulations for mechanical systems. This 2006 version may apply to your particular project.
The first edition of the International Mechanical Code was published in 1996 by the International Code Council. This 2006 International Mechanical Code covers such topics as duct systems, exhaust systems, ventilation, combustion air, chimneys and vents, refrigeration, and many other relevant issues.
The 2006 International Mechanical Code establishes minimum regulations for mechanical systems using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. Topics covered include ventilation; exhaust systems; duct systems; combustion air; chimneys and vents; specific appliances, fireplaces and solid-fuel-burning equipment; boilers, water heaters and pressure vessels; refrigeration; hydronic piping; fuel oil piping and storage; solar systems; and more.
Important changes to the 2006 International Mechanical Code include:
Air velocity in a grease duct serving a Type I hood reduced from 1,500 feet per minute to 500 feet per minute.
New Section 507.2.1.1 requires exhaust hoods to automatically operate during cooking operations in commercial kitchens by means of an electrical interlock or heat sensors or other approved means.
A change to 403.2.1 relaxes the absolute ban on recirculation of air from locker rooms, bathrooms, and swimming pools. Now, up to 10% of the supply air stream is allowed to consist of air exhausted from such spaces.
From the Preface
Internationally, code officials recognize the need for a modern, up-to-date mechanical code addressing the design and installation of mechanical systems emphasizing performance. The International Mechanical Code, in this 2003 edition, is designed to meet these needs through model code regulations that safeguard the public health and safety in all communities, large and small.
This comprehensive mechanical code establishes minimum regulations for mechanical systems using prescriptive and performance-related provisions. It is founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of new materials and new mechanical system designs. This 2003 edition is fully compatible with all the International Codes (I-Codes) published by the International Code Council (ICC), including the International Building Code, ICC Electrical Code Administrative Provisions, International Energy Conservation Code, International Existing Building Code, International Fire Code, International Fuel Gas Code, ICC Performance Code, International Plumbing Code, International Private Sewage Disposal Code, International Property Maintenance Code, International Residential Code, International Urban-Wildland Interface Code and International Zoning Code.
The International Mechanical Code provisions provide many benefits, among which is the model code development process that offers an international forum for mechanical professionals to discuss performance and prescriptive 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 International Mechanical Code (1996) was the culmination of an effort initiated in 1995 by a development committee appointed by the International Code Council (ICC) and consisting of representatives of the three statutory members of the ICC: 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 regulations for mechanical systems consistent with and inclusive of the scope for the existing model codes. Technical content of the latest model codes promulgated by BOCA, ICBO and SBCCI was utilized as the basis for the development. This 2003 edition presents the code as originally issued, with changes approved through the ICC Code Development Process through 2002. A new edition such as this is promulgated every three years.
With the development and publication of the family of International Codes in 2000, the continued development and maintenance of the model codes individually promulgated by BOCA (BOCA National Codes), ICBO (Uniform Codes) and SBCCI (Standard Codes) was discontinued. This 2003 International Mechanical Code, as well as its predecessor—the 2000 edition—is intended to be the successor mechanical code to those codes previously developed by BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI.
The development of a single set of comprehensive and coordinated International Codes was a significant milestone in the development of regulations for the built environment. The timing of this publication mirrors a milestone in the change in structure of the model codes, namely, the consolidation of BOCA, ICBO, and SBCCI into the ICC. The activities and services previously provided by the individual model code organizations will be the responsibility of the consolidated ICC.
This code is founded on principles intended to establish provisions consistent with the scope of a mechanical code that adequately protects 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.
Author: International Code Council Format: Looseleaf Copyright: 2006 Pages: 130 ISBN: 1580012566
Who is the ICC? It's the International Code Council. The ICC says it's "a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe, sustainable and affordable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process."
Why should you care? These codes form the basis for how construction must be done.
Many jurisdictions in the USA have adopted International Codes--sometimes in addition to other codes, sometimes in place of them. All fifty states (and U.S. possessions and many jurisdictions outside the USA) have adopted one or more of the International Codes, either with amendments or exactly as is.
Many owners (construction customers) are bound by International Codes, due to corporate policies--especially if the parent company is based outside the USA.
Code convergence is increasing. Other codes are becoming more like the International Codes with each code cycle.
Conforming to these codes, even if not specifically required to do by the local authority having jurisdiction, can make a huge difference in a liability suit.
The International Codes, if not required in your jurisdiction, can fill some "holes" in other applicable codes for engineering or design quality purposes. Thus, they make it easier for you to "sell" to the customer the right way to do the job. You have an authoritative basis for the "price hike" you are proposing over a less suitable design.
If you are not using International Codes now, you will be. Get in the habit of working with these codes.
Bonus! Now, here's a bonus for you. Suppose the state doesn't list a specific code. You do the work, something happens, and you are in court defending yourself against claims that your work resulted in an unsafe installation. There's no inspection report, because there was no standard required by your state. But wait. You did the work per the applicable ICC codes. Now, assuming good workmanship and good materials, the other party has a frivolous case.
Safety first. The International Codes, or I-Codes, published by ICC, provide minimum safeguards for people at home, at school, and in the workplace. The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive, coordinated building safety and fire prevention codes. Building codes benefit public safety and support the industry’s need for one set of codes without regional limitations.
Federal applications. Many federal agencies (such as the Architect of the Capitol, General Services Administration, National Park Service, Department of State, U.S. Forest Service and the Veterans Administration) require work to be done per the the I-Codes. The Department of Defense references the International Building Code for constructing military facilities, including those that house U.S. troops, domestically and deployed.
Where ICC came from. The founders of the ICC are Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI). At one time, they each published their own codes. But in 1994, they established the International Code Council (ICC) as a non-profit organization dedicated to developing a single set of construction codes. The International Code Series subsequently replaced the codes previously published by these organizations.
Code Compliance Tips
Obviously, you need to know what the regulations and requirements are. That's why you should buy this standard.
As you apply a requirement, look at the principle behind it. If you satisfy the principle, you won't be subject to "interpretation revisions" being forced on you later.
To understand a particular provision, understand its context. So rather than look up a sentence and try to parse out its meaning, look at the entire code and how it's arranged. Where does the provision fit within this framework, and what is that chapter or section trying to accomplish?
Remember that members of all code-making bodies write the codes in respect to the laws of physics, and to the body of knowledge in the respective trade or skill area addressed by the code. If you also understand these things, then you will be able to more properly apply a given code requirement.
Codes are nearly always written as minimum requirements. You may need to go beyond the code requirements for optimum operational efficiency or to satisfy engineering requirements based on best practices. The codes almost never limit you from going beyond the requirements.