Modular Building Institute

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New Language in 2018 International Building Code Protects Relocatable Building Owners

Original Comment:
I just received my copy of the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and International Existing Building Code (IEBC). Thanks to the efforts of many MBI volunteers and staff, these two code books now contain clear language for code officials on how to treat newly constructed relocatable buildings (RBs) and, perhaps more importantly, how to treat existing RBs.

Beginning with this version of the code, there will be a new section in Chapter 31 of the IBC specifically for relocatable buildings. As always, any newly constructed unit has to meet the code requirements of the current building code. MBI added new language to help code officials determine compliance. This new language mirrors the requirements that the industry already complies with in our state administrative programs (i.e. unit must have a data plate).

This new section CLEARLY points code officials to Ch 14 of the IEBC for existing relocatable buildings. That section requires an existing RB to meet the wind, snow, seismic, and flood requirements, but not required to be brought up to new building or energy codes when relocated.

This effort also eliminates the much hated "Moved Structures" provision in the code that many official misinterpreted each time the industry relocated a building. That section required any moved structure to meet the CURRENT codes in place, regardless of then the structure was built.

In layman's terms, MBI was able to get a type of "grandfathering" provision into the building codes for existing relocatable buildings. The final publication of the 2018 IBC is just the first step, as each state or jurisdiction still has to adopt it.

Our work with the ICC continues with a series of ICC + MBI guidelines now in the works. Thank you for your support of the MBI Seals program which fuels these efforts!
Started on September 25, 2017 by Tom Hardiman
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