The purpose of this notice is to provide stakeholders with the status of the draft 9th Edition of the MA State Building Code.

As of January 12, 2016, the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (“BBRS”) completed an effort, which has lasted over two (2) years, by approving a final draft of the 9th Edition of the MA State Building Code (“780 CMR”).  The proposed new code is based upon the 2015 I-Codes, as published by the International Code Council (“ICC”).  This effort is a testament to the hard work performed by a large group of volunteers, sister agencies, and professional organizations who assisted the BBRS through participation in Technical Advisory Committees and presentations for the BBRS at public meetings.

The draft regulations are currently under review by the Executive Office of Administration and Finance for compliance with Governor Baker’s Executive Order 562 (“EO562”).  Following the completion of this review, a public hearing will be scheduled to afford interested parties an opportunity to provide comment(s) on the draft code.  Depending on the nature of the written comments received, and/or oral testimony at the public hearing, BBRS members may choose to make adjustments to the draft code language.

When the public hearing process (and related reviews) is completed, BBRS members will then approve the final content of the 9th Edition and file it with the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth for publication in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations. The publication date of the 9th Edition is unknown at this time, as it depends on successful completion of the EO562 and public hearing processes.  Regardless of the eventual publication date, however, the 9th Edition is expected to authorize a concurrency period of up to six months in which the user may file permits in compliance with either the 8th or the 9th Edition of the code.      

BBRS members encourage code users and enforcers to start becoming familiar with provisions of the applicable 2015 I-Codes and associated Massachusetts amendments over the next several months in preparation for the transition. Building owners, designers and contractors should consider changes in the 9th edition that may affect projects scheduled for permit applications that will be filed after a concurrency period and thus required to comply with the 9th Edition.  However, please remember that there may be changes made due to the comments received at, or before, public hearing.

In an effort to provide the most comprehensive code possible, and minimize the number of amendments after promulgation, the BBRS is accepting written comments before, during, and for a period of time following the public hearing.  Any person can submit their comments to the BBRS by emailing Felix Zemel at felix.zemel@state.ma.us.

How may I view the draft files? The 9th edition code (780 CMR) consists of two volumes:

  • The Base Volume consists of the 2015 versions of the International Building Code (IBC), Existing Building Code (IEBC), Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and by reference, the International Fire Code (IFC) and Mechanical Code (IMC) along with Massachusetts amendments thereto; and
  • The Residential Volume which consists of the 2015 version of the International Residential Code (IRC) and Massachusetts amendments thereto.

Links to the files that comprise the draft 9th Edition of 780 CMR are listed below.  Some files are large, so please be patient when attempting to access them,

http://codes.iccsafe.org/I-Codes.html Link to 2015 I-Codes

MA Amendments to the Base Volume (including all figures, tables, and special regulations) (PDF pdf format of bbrs(2016 01 15)---BaseCode(PUBLIC_COMMENT).pdf
file size 1MB/Word docx format of BBRS(2016 01 15)---BaseCode(PUBLIC_COMMENT).docx
file size 1MB)

MA Amendments to the Residential Volume (PDF pdf format of bbrs(2016 01 15)---ResCode(PUBLIC_COMMENT).pdf
/Word docx format of BBRS(2016 01 15)---ResCode(PUBLIC_COMMENT).docx
)