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Knowing Your Local Building Codes

…and Which Could Be Coming Your Way

The International Building Code (IBC) is either in effect or adopted by all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico & The U.S. Virgin Islands. Building codes are in place to protect public health, safety, and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures. Whether you agree with them or not, they are necessary to understand. Being aware of building codes in other territories (similar to yours) can be advantageous because you can spot trends, and some of these trends could potentially be coming your way.

CREW 12-12-3 pipe supports

So Which Do I Follow?

I can’t tell you that you can do these 5 things but not these 3 things when it comes to rooftop pipe supports in building codes. This is why engineers and contractors need to know their local codes. One example to bring attention to is that many territories have banned wood, and now you are seeing territories ban plastic rooftop pipe supports. Nevada & Arizona have both banned plastic supports in their building codes. Now, let’s consider the climate in those 2 states. Both warm states, theoretically we could see this trend carry across other “warm climate” states. Understanding the climate that you are in and what it commands from your building materials is crucial to do a proper and professional job. 

The Climate

Think about a piece of plastic furniture that is left outside, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Now think about that happening for at least 25 years. Every day the extreme heat and sun will beat down on the contents of the roof. The frigid cold in winters as snow blows across the roof hitting everything. Some climates getting both extremes over the course of the year. My point is that the materials that the rooftop pipe supports are made of are going to matter in the long run. A support made of rubber (recycled or virgin) that is UV stabilized will outlast plastic support. Being aware of these conditions can turn a broad selection of pipe supports into a few select ones.

Helpful Tip:

LEED Credits

Obviously LEED Credits are not included in building codes, they are something that can be taken into account during the design and build phase of the building, and the rooftop pipe support market has some that abide by these criteria and some that do not. Available for virtually all building, community, and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create a healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. When looking for rooftop support, don’t forget to check to see if the one you are considering can add to your LEED score.

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