Definitions and Acronyms You Should Know:
- building code: rules and regulations adopted by the governmental authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) over the construction and/or remodeling of the commercial property.
- code official: the officer or other government-designated authority charged with enforcement of building codes.
- IBC: International Building Code
- ICC: International Code Council
- IPC: International Plumbing Code
The objective of the walk-through survey is to allow the inspector to visually observe the subject property, gather information, and note items of interest.
The International Code Council (ICC) publishes the International Building Code (IBC) and International Plumbing Code (IPC). Specifically, Chapter 29 of the IBC and the IPC, set the minimum requirements for the design, installation, alteration, and maintenance of plumbing systems in buildings and structures. These codes are typically adopted and altered for the local AHJ, such as building codes adhered to by code officials.
The IBC sets the minimum requirements for plumbing fixtures for specific occupancies, the installation of fixtures, and other design features and limitations. Similarly, the IPC governs the materials, sizes, and installation of the potable water supply and distribution plumbing fixtures, drain, waste and vent (DWV) piping, and storm drainage systems.
Note: The ComSOP sets the minimum inspection requirements of plumbing systems at commercial properties.
Although a commercial property inspection is not a code inspection, professional inspectors may find it helpful to have a basic working knowledge of these codes. Note that it is not the inspector’s responsibility to report on compliance with codes and regulations, per Section 8 of the ComSOP: Limitations, Exceptions and Exclusions. Local building officials have jurisdiction over the interpretation and compliance of codes. Rather, understanding the IBC and ICC will add to your inspection skills and aid you in identifying defects and potential safety issues for your clients.
However, according to the ComSOP, if you are aware of conflicts with other standards, codes, regulations, etc., you should write your report based on the requirements that provide for the greatest level of safety:
Section 3.2 Conflicts with Other Standards, Codes, Local Laws, and Manufacturers’ Instructions
There likely exist other standards, codes, local laws, and manufacturers’ instructions that differ or are in conflict with this Standard and with each other. Although this Standard does not require an inspector to know or discover all the provisions that may pertain to every situation, this Standard does require an inspector, if aware of such conflicts, to author the inspection report based on the requirements that provide the greatest protection of life and property, in the inspector’s judgment. This Standard is not intended to usurp or abridge adopted codes or ordinances.
To review the ComSOP, visit CCPIA Standards of Practice.