An entire package of 14 tall mass timber code change proposals has been approved by the International Code Council (ICC) after a vote.
Three new types of construction will be created (Types IV-A, IV-B, and IV-C), which set fire safety requirements, and allowable heights, areas, and number of stories for tall mass timber buildings. More specific voting results are expected to be released early 2019.
“Mass timber has been capturing the imagination of architects and developers, and the ICC result means they can now turn sketches into reality. ICC’s rigorous study, testing and voting process now recognizes a strong, low-carbon alternative to traditional tall building materials used by the building and construction industry,” said American Wood Council (AWC) president and CEO Robert Glowinski.
The three new types of construction:
Type IV-A – Maximum 18 stories, with gypsum wallboard on all mass timber elements
Type IV-B – Maximum 12 stories, limited-area of exposed mass timber walls and ceilings allowed
Type IV-C – Maximum nine stories, all exposed mass timber designed for a two-hour fire resistance
“The addition of tall mass timber to the International Building Code provides a comprehensive set of safety standards for these new types of construction. This vote caps off several years of scientific research and testing, and verifies that mass timber meets the robust performance standards called for by our nation’s building codes,” said AWC vice-president of codes and regulations Kenneth Bland, P.E.
The AWC represents 86 percent of the structural wood products industry. AWC advocates for balanced government policies that affect wood products and its members make products that are essential to everyday life from a renewable resource that absorbs and sequesters carbon.


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