Venerala / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Contractormag 13547 Turning Wrench

Report Outlines Benefits of Adopting the International Plumbing Code

Oct. 11, 2019
Findings show that over 12 years counties that used the IPC saved $38 billion in construction costs and saw an additional 166,000 jobs.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the International Code Council released “The Economic Impact of the International Plumbing Code,” a study by Hatch and Henderson Engineers that provides a comparative analysis of model plumbing codes.

The International Plumbing Code (IPC) establishes safety standards for health, property protection and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation and maintenance or use of plumbing equipment and systems. It is part of the International Codes, a family of coordinated building safety codes used in the U.S. and around the world.

The study evaluates the costs and savings associated with construction, labor and materials under the IPC compared to other model codes, as well as estimates the employment and environmental gains that would have resulted from a national implementation of the IPC. Mechanical engineers assessed multiple buildings, such as single-family homes, offices, hotels, schools and grocery stores, and applied model code requirements to determine the building costs associated with each model code. The study found that IPC implementation results in considerable savings in plumbing materials and construction costs, and increases productivity and job growth in local economies.

Over a 12-year period, counties that used the IPC saved $38 billion in construction costs and emitted one million fewer tons of carbon dioxide. Those same counties also saw an additional 166,000 jobs and saved 880 million feet of pipe. On average, a single-family home could save up to $4,000 in labor, materials and overhead compared to that same home built to other codes.

“This report makes a strong case for the cost-saving benefits for municipalities that adopt the IPC,” said Code Council Chief Executive Dominic Sims, CBO. “For the counties and states that do not use the IPC, the cost of using another model code was equal to almost $1 billion in additional labor, materials and overhead from 2007 to 2018. Not only does the IPC make buildings safer and more energy efficient, it saves money for home and building owners.”

The report also includes an interactive tool that allows users to click on any state or county and see which model code they currently use as well as how much the state or county would save by switching to the IPC.

The IPC is the most common plumbing code in the U.S., used in 37 states as well Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico. About 168 million people live in a state that has adopted the IPC, with an even larger number living in states where the city or county level has adopted the IPC. Government agencies such as the General Services Administration and the Department of Defense also use the IPC.

Read the full report and see how your community is impacted at

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!