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Codes and Technical Standards
A code is a set of rules and specifications for the correct methods and materials used in a certain product, building or process. Codes can be approved by local, state or federal governments and can carry the force of law. The main purpose of codes is to protect the public by setting up the minimum acceptable level of safety for buildings, products and processes.
A technical standard is an established norm or requirement. It is usually a formal document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes and practices. Standards allow for interchangeability of parts, system interoperability, and they ensure quality, reliability and safety.
Obtaining Codes and Standards
The library has electronic access to some codes and standards. See the Resources for Finding Codes and Standards listings for more details on available codes and standards.
The library has some codes and standards available in print in the reference section of the library. Please search the Library Catalog for standards and codes available in print.
Codes and Standards needed for course assignments are available to current students.
Please email the library or call (414) 277-7180 with any questions about accessing codes and standards.
Resources for Finding Codes and Standards
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publishes codes and standards that address fire, life, and electrical safety. NFPA offers read-only access to their codes and standards. Codes and standards cannot be downloaded or printed.
Important codes produced by the NFPA include:
- NFPA 1, Fire Prevention Code
Provides the requirements necessary to establish a reasonable level of fire safety and property protection in new and existing buildings.
- NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
The safety benchmark for fuel gas installations.
- NFPA 70, National Electrical Code
The world's most widely used and accepted code for electrical installations.
- NFPA 101, Life Safety Code
Establishes minimum requirements for new and existing buildings to protect occupants from fire, smoke, and toxic fumes.
- NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code
The first building code developed through an open, consensus-based process, accredited by ANSI.
Information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Includes the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.
Indexes all of the standards published by the American Society of Testing and Materials.
International Building Code (IBC) 2018
A comprehensive code addressing the design and installation of building systems through requirements emphasizing performance, the IBC establishes minimum regulations for building systems using prescriptive and performance- related provisions. This 2018 code is available through the International Code Council (ICC) Online Library. Please note there are some limits to the search abilities and printing in this version of the code.
ASHRAE Standards and Guidelines
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) is an important professional organization that sponsors research and publishes books, journals and standards.