Defense picks IBC for military construction

FALLS CHURCH, VA. The U.S. Department of Defense has selected the International Building Code as a primary reference in its Unified Facilities Criteria, the International Code Council announced. After a multiyear review, the guidance document UFC 1-200-01, Design: General Building Requirements incorporates private sector standards, including the 2000 IBC, into a single-model building code for design

FALLS CHURCH, VA. — The U.S. Department of Defense has selected the International Building Code as a primary reference in its Unified Facilities Criteria, the International Code Council announced.

After a multiyear review, the guidance document – UFC 1-200-01, Design: General Building Requirements – incorporates private sector standards, including the 2000 IBC, into a single-model building code for design and construction of all military projects.

The Defense Department’s policy is to select the best model code provisions and industry standards available for military use by all Defense Department components. The UFC 1-200-01 continues that policy and incorporates the 2000 IBC, with modifications and limitations. The 2000 IBC is part of a comprehensive, coordinated set of codes produced by the International Code Council.

“DoD has been referencing some provisions of the model codes for years, but a lack of a common, national code inhibited our full use of these codes,” said David Curfman, director of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Engineering Innovation and Criteria Office. “Now, with a single-model code available, we can use the best lessons learned from the private sector and ensure consistent design DoD-wide.”

In 2000, DoD began to consolidate and unify its design and construction technical criteria. DoD established the Tri-Service Engineering Senior Executive Panel and Unified Design Guidance Coordinating Panel to help achieve its goal. Staff from the office of the secretary of defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency and Curfman’s office served on the panels.

The Tri-Service Panels incorporated existing facility-related reference materials and used non-government standards to the greatest extent possible. The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 requires federal use of private sector consensus standards when practical.

The law has many objectives including creating safer structures. The law strives to reduce reliance on federal standards and use industry standards when there is potential to simplify contracting, improve timeliness and cost effectiveness.

The military often requires higher standards to achieve more stringent life-cycle performance and constructs facilities that do not exist in the private sector. Modifications to the model code provisions are based on unique military requirements. States and municipalities also may add provisions to the codes to meet local needs.

A copy of the military building codes is available at www.efdlant.navfac.navy. mil/criteria. Select “Publications,” click on “Design Criteria,” then “Unified Facilities Criteria” and select “UFC 1-200-01” to download the document.