2015 Codes Re-Adoption

Before any snarky analysis, I would like to point out that the RAC performed expediently and effectively recently in getting our State's codes into modern times. Hopefully, they continue to do so with the adoption of the 2018 codes. On to the info:

Disclaimer: This does not repeal any previous amendments.

The 2015 IWUIC is adopted with no amendments. (There is definitely a correlation between the importance of a code and your knowledge of what the acronym stands for.)

The 2015  IFC is adopted with no amendments. (Keep in mind as per the original legislation only the portions referenced by the IBC are part of the UCC)

2015 IBC Amended as Follows:

913.2.2 - Deleted requirement for fire pump circuit cables to comply with UL 2196. (UL 2196 is essentially the listing for 2 hour fire rated power cabling systems. The deletion of this section doesn't mean one can't use such a system; rather, it clarifies that any of the 3 acceptable methods in NFPA 70 2014 can be used.)

2609.4 - Add the word "maintaining" to the exception for greenhouses  in the Light-Transmitting Plastic Roof Panels section. (Yes, greenhouses are in fact used to maintain plant life. The fact we need to make this clear is a troubling commentary on our society.)

2015 IRC Amended as Follows:

302.5.1 - Deletes updated requirement to provide closers on communicating doors between the garage and the house. (It was critical to remove this tyrannical intrusion by big brother into our homes. I for one never forget to shut doors in my domicile, and everyone knows responsibility is inherent to children as soon as they have the motor skills to operate handles.) 

322.2.1 & 322.3.2- The tightening of flood zone requirements to include Coastal A Zones, and some increased height requirements was not adopted and will keep the language from 09. (The devastating flooding out nation has experienced recently has been declared fake news by the RAC)

325.5 - Modified to require that mezzanines remain open regardless of sprinklers or the number of exits, and does not allow walls to be greater than 36" and still be considered open. (Essentially adopts the 2018 version of this section.)

507.6 - Deletes the deck beam span table and time warps up to present day. (Yep, we should probably make structural design considerations based on how physics works in the reality.)

602.3.1 - Add an exception to allow 12' load bearing wall studs in exposure B with a live load not exceeding  20 psf and snow load not exceeding  30 psf. (Another time travel to 2018 standards.)

602.7.5 - Deletes reference to table 602.7.5. (Part of changing 602.3.1 requires this section to be warped to 2018 also.)

M1601.4.1 - Modified so as not to allow the exception for additional closure systems on snap/button lock seams outside of conditioned spaces. (OK.) 

M1602.2 - Adds the word "perimeter" to clarify the intent. (OK.)

P2503.5.1 - Keeps the mistake from the 2009 edition that allows PVC to be air tested. (Good luck with that.)

E3901.7- Will keep the wording from 2009 which has an exception for the outdoor receptacle on decks and similar spaces less than 20 square feet. (Seems reasonable)

E3901.11 - Amends the convenience receptacle spacing for foyers less than 60 square feet in a way that will only require one receptacle. (Again, seems reasonable.)


310.1.2 - Adds section from 2018 to account for counterstrike and similar arc resistant CSST products. (Logical)

2015 IEBC

101.2 - Removes the the 3 story accessory structure limitation on the IRC potentially being applicable. (The state and I have very different definitions of accessory.)

2015 IECC

C104.2.6 - Deletes the building commissioning requirements from the final inspection requirements. (I'm on your schedule captain.)

C408.2.4 - Delete's more building commissioning requirements. (Again, no problem here.)

R102.1.1 - Keeps the exception for meeting the mandatory compliance with Chapter 5 for alternate above code compliance in residential buildings. (No issues)

Definitions: Adds Framing Factor - The fraction of the total building component area that is structural framing. (OK)

Table R402.1.2 - Adds an option for Wood frame walls to be 18 + 6.5ci for the 6 counties in Climate Zone 6. (Look, living in Climate Zone 6 is hard enough, let's give them some options.)

Table R402.1.2 - Adds a footnote that allows R-18 in place of R-20 provided the wall framing factor is 20% or less, or 24" O.C. stud spacing. (ASHRAE lists 16"o.c. walls as having a framing factor of 25%, and 24"o.c. walls having a factor of 22%, so.... basically you can use R-18 in place of R20 on 24" o.c. walls. Whatever.)

R403.3.6 & R403.3.7 - Cherry picks these sections from the 2018 Codes. It's a bit verbose, so just go have a look at them here:


R402.4.1.2 - Amends this section so that every climate zone can comply with the air change requirements for Climate Zones 1 & 2. (For those keeping score, different climates also fake news.)

R403.3.5 - Amends this section to still allow building cavities to be used for return air. (Even if you can meet sealing requirements this can create a potential moisture issue. Just because something has been done in a way for years doesn't mean it still should.)

R403.5.2- Deletes requirement for demand recirculating hot water systems in situations where a recirculating pump is needed. (I'm all for conserving water, but I think the code may be getting ahead of itself here with the cost effectiveness currently involved.)

R405.2 - Language added to clarify that Section 402.4.1.2 is in fact included in Section 402.4.1 (LOL)

Table R406.4 - Adds a footnote from 2018. (Again just have a look using the link above.)






Recently the review and advisory council met and issued their divinely inspired decree on what updates in the 2015 series of the I-Codes are worthy of adoption fir the unique Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Of the 1900 changes the Vulcan High Council found a staggering 16 code changes that are essential to the safety of our citizens. I am not sure how code officials are going to keep up with this monumental shift, but here are brief descriptions of the modifications to get you started:

G28-12 - This makes the important distinction that commercial kitchens that are 2,500 square feet or less will be considered B occupancies and those above this threshold will be considered F-1.  (Estimated Lives Saved: 3,456)

G30-12 - Clarifies that tutoring centers, martial arts studios, gymnastics studios, and similar uses shall be considered B occupancies, except of course when they are A occupancies, but should never be considered E occupancies. Never. (Estimated Lives Saved: 1,000,000).

G227-12 - Reinforces that the replacement of windows in R-2 & R-3 occupancies where there is not a change in occupancy does not require the opening to be enlarged; rather, the most compliant similar style of window that can be installed in the existing opening should be used. (Estimated Lives Saved: At least one code official)

RE6-13 - Defines insulated siding. (Polar Bears Saved: .25)

RE58-13 - Allows vertical access doors from conditioned to unconditioned spaces to meet fenestration requirements as opposed to R-Value requirements. (Polar Bears Saved: -1)

RE60-13 - Permits floor cavity insulation to be installed at the top or bottom of the cavity. (Polar Bears Saved: 0)

RE195-13 - Provides method for calculating insulated siding when determining an R-Value for an assembly. (Polar Bears Saved: .50)

F144-13 - Allows Fire Code Officials to accept automatic water misting systems as an alternative to automatic sprinkler systems in certain cases with restrictions. (Estimated Lives Saved: Does marine life count?)

F359-13 - Makes it clear that it is not a great idea to install ionization or photo-electric smoke alarms near permanently installed cooking equipment. (Estimated Lives Saved: 100 MENSA candidates.)

M106-12 - Deletes the requirement for a Type I hood above light duty cooking equipment that produces smoke or grease laden vapors. This confirms that toaster are usually only dangerous when you attempt to use them while in the bath tub. (Estimated Lives Saved: 0)

RB68-13 - Would not require any penetration protection for exterior walls with a fire separation distance of 3 feet or more. (Estimated Lives Saved: 0)

RB172-13 - Would allow spray foam to be used at perimeter joist spaces without thermal protection. (Estimated Lives Saved: 0)

RB262-13 - A private company was able to get another drawing of a specific lateral deck load connection device in the code; thus, this is now an officially approved connection. (Estimated Lives Saved: Multiple drunk dancing deck denizens.)

RB264-13 - Expands on the prescriptive requirements for residential decks. (Estimated Lives Saved: This is actually a great addition, and I encourage PACO members to hand deliver these regulations to their local Home Depot and Lowes. While you are there take a bat to wherever they utilize that awful deck designer software.)

RM34-13 - Makes it clear that the make up air required for residential kitchen exhaust systems greater than 400 cfm can use natural ventilation via gravity systems. (Estimated Lives Saved: Countless.)

RM53-13 - Clarifies that snap lock and button lock duct joints need additional sealing. (Estimated Lives Saved: 5000)

Whew! I know I am asking for a raise for having to learn all of this stuff. Who's with me?

Now, don't take any of the snark in the wrong way. I have no issue with the amount of time and effort put into the individual code changes by those whom have an interest in the code development process; rather, the sole source of my derision is the RAC's inability to perform their accepted duty. Yes, accepted duty. No one wants to hear about how much time it takes for you to evaluate all of these code changes. If you feel you are unable to complete the stated task, then step down and let someone willing take your place; furthermore, stop acting like these changes are sprung on you at the last second when the code development process occurs over a number of years. 

I wouldn't even have a major issue with the RAC rejecting controversial changes like residential sprinklers, and allowing that to be decided at the local amendment level, but to just reject essentially entire editions of national standard codes because a few items are a nuisance to small portions of the population is exactly what James Madison was so adamantly against in his contributions to the Federalist Papers during the founding of our country. 

Unfortunately the code adoption process in PA continues to be a joke, but hopefully enough people will begin to see through the hollow excuses of the RAC. Until then I suppose you can look on the bright side of the savings you will experience on not having to purchase new code books.






Bureau Veritas Utility Inspector Job Opportunity

Job Title:

Electrical Inspector

Position Type:

Part Time - As Needed


Any City

State / Province:


Job Description:

Bureau Veritas seeks to hire an Electrical Inspector on a Part Time As Needed basis.  The Electrical Inspector will perform the below duties for our client in a designated geographical area of the state of Pennsylvania.  

-Review complex commercial, industrial drawings and specifications, including power generating facilities to ensure compliance with current codes and standards as well as engineered specifications as it pertains to inspections and/or QA.
-Conduct a range of trade specific inspections on Power & Utility projects as well as managing specific projects related to these types of code inspections.       
-Prepare written and electronic reports and issue notices of correction, explain and interpret code and/or quality control regulations or requirements.  
-Recognize, evaluate and properly resolve unique problems or situations.
-Assist the inspection management team with business development.  
-Perform other related duties as assigned by the division director
-Maintain effective customer service relationship with clients. 

Travel will be required for inspections at different project locations. Code Enforcement and/or Quality Assurance/ Control Inspections, Gas Transmission Line Inspections, Power Transmission Line Inspections.   

Job Requirements:

 -Power Plant, Switch Yard and Transmission Plan Review, High Voltage Plan Review
-Associate Degree in Engineering or Code Related Field is desirable (a High School Diploma or Equivalent is also excepted with appropriate experience)
-ICC Commercial Combination Inspector Certification
-Must have knowledge of ASME Codes, ANSI Codes, Commercial ICC Codes, NFPA Codes
-Must have knowledge in using a computer, MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, Digital Camera

Bureau Veritas is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and as such we recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, citizen status, sexual orientation, genetics, status as a protected veteran, or any other non-job-related characteristics.

Forward a resume to Elizabeth.Tucker@us.BureauVeritas.com


Apply on line:


Bureau Veritas Electrical Inspector Job Opportunity

Job Title:

Electrical Inspector

Position Type:

Full Time - Permanent



State / Province:


Job Description:

Bureau Veritas North America Inc. a global leader in quality assurance, health, safety and environmental (QHSE) solutions is seeking highly experienced, motivated ICC Certified / PA-UCC Certified Commercial Electrical Inspector or Combination Building Inspector. Must have proven experience in large commercial building construction projects.

Location : Northeastern PA (preferred area of operation within 40 miles of Allentown and Mt Pocono)

Major Responsibilities: Conduct a range of trade specific inspections on commercial projects. With intimate knowledge of the National Electrical Code 2008 and code change up-dates associated with 2011 & 2014 code changes.  Strong understanding of Bonding and Grounding, UG electrical raceways and duct banks , High Voltage services and large service equipment and transformers,   electrical conduit, cable trays, electrical terminations.  Must have reliable vehicle and a valid driver’s license. Prepare written and electronic reports and issue notices of correction, explain and interpret code. Oversee special inspections. Maintain effective customer service relationship with clients and the public.

Ability to provide clear interpretation of the NEC 2008 and be able to document against same. Well written and verbal reporting skills are essential.

Job Requirements:

High School Diploma or Equivalent, or code related trade school is desirable. Must prove experience in the field of expertise, preferred to have strong trade experience and construction sense and knowledge of large projects.  Inspector must be familiar with computer and digital camera use.

Prefer someone who understands and has been trained in OSHA- 70-E and can pass security clearance screening for TSA Clearances.

Must pass drug and alcohol screening along with possible background check.
Bureau Veritas is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and as such we recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, citizen status, sexual orientation, genetics, status as a protected veteran, or any other non-job-related characteristics.

Forward a resume to Elizabeth.Tucker@us.BureauVeritas.com


Apply on line:


Bureau Veritas Building Inspector Job Opportunity

Job Title:

Building Inspector

Position Type:

Full Time - Permanent



State / Province:


Job Description:

Bureau Veritas of North America, seeks to hire ICC Certified Building Inspectors in the Somerset, PA area.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Perform a full range of inspection and evaluation of residential new construction and light commercial new construction, which may include complex structural and non-structural components, including plumbing, mechanical, electrical, green building, and fire protection systems for compliance with the appropriate codes, other applicable regulations, and approved plans and specifications. Compile, analyze, and evaluate findings of investigations and inspections, and issue standard construction and occupancy permits and approve final inspection certificates. Maintains clear, concise, and comprehensive records and reports related to inspection activities.

Job Requirements:

Candidates must possess current Combination Building Inspector Certifications with the ICC
Working knowledge of the ICC, CBC, and applicable local codes
Must possess prior inspection experience of new residential developments and new commercial construction
Must have a valid driver’s license and a safe driving record
Must possess strong verbal and written communication skills
Must be a team player and able to work well with clients and co-workers
Must possess problem solving skills
Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment
Bilingual (Spanish) a plus
Working knowledge of office computer software – Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.

High School Diploma/ Associates Degree (preferred) and 2-5 years experience as a certified inspector performing multi-code building inspections; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Bureau Veritas is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and as such we recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, marital status, citizen status, sexual orientation, genetics, status as a protected veteran, or any other non-job-related characteristics.

Forward a resume to Elizabeth.Tucker@us.BureauVeritas.com


Apply on line:


North Carolina Job Opportunity

Chief Building Official – The City of Raleigh, North Carolina

The City of Raleigh, North Carolina is seeking an experienced Chief Building Official to join our team.


The Chief Building Official performs work that is highly complex and often requires intense and exacting mental attention and ability to reason through and solve complex problems that may affect the ability of the Planning and Development enterprise to achieve its critical goals and objectives. The incumbent has extensive contact with public officials, employees, and the general public. The Chief Building Official directs a division of the Inspection Department under Planning and Development enterprise.

Executive direction is provided by higher-level executive staff. Responsibilities include the direct and indirect supervision of professional, technical, and clerical personnel.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Plans, organizes, directs, trains, and evaluates personnel involved in the activities of the Construction Division of the Inspections Department under the Planning and Development enterprise; assigns, supervises, and participates in the professional and technical detail and administrative arrangements of the Construction Division; approves contracts for consultant services; through subordinate staff, establishes general program assignments and responsibilities for division employees and provides technical and administrative policy guidance and counsel to management.
  • Establishes and monitors Division mission statement, vision, goals, objectives, and priorities; assists in developing Department’s mission statement, vision, goals and objectives; develops and implements technical interpretations, guidelines, policies, procedures, and actions to support the same. 
  • Coordinates and directs City resources and staff in negotiating with developers and design professionals to resolve the most difficult and complex development-related issues, disputes, inquiries, and problems; establishes, maintains, and improves department relationships with customer groups, boards and commissions, other departments, city officials, and government agencies; resolves complex engineering disputes and engineering decisions regarding plan review and calculations.
  • Participates in continuous quality improvement of the development process in conjunction with the Planning Division, Public Works Department, Public Utilities Department and Fire Department. 
  • Prepares and administers the Construction Division budget and reserve fund in a cyclical construction workload environment; maintains services and makes continued improvements while sustaining organization during workload downturns and within ongoing budget/revenue limitations; directs and participates in special studies and analysis of results; researches and prepares letters, memoranda, reports, annual report, budget documents, and other written materials.
  • Performs other or related duties as assigned.


8 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of building inspection and construction and preferably including experience as a Chief Building Official in a municipality within a mid-large metropolitan area, providing exposure to construction of high-rise, mixed-use and complex structures as a code official. A licensed design professional, registered architect or professional engineer, with engineering and design/construction experience preferred. 4 years of management/supervisory experience required. Applicants may substitute additional relevant education for the required experience. 



Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university with major course work in either a construction-related field such as engineering or construction management, or a management-related field such as public or business administration. Applicants may substitute additional relevant experience for the required education.

Knowledge of:

·         Construction requirements, practices, and intent of regulations for the development and construction of complex engineered buildings and structures ranging from homes to high-rise office and residential structures, atrium hotels, hazardous occupancies, manufacturing plants, historic structures, and large public assembly structures.

·         Structural engineering of building structures.

·         Methods, practices, materials, principles, techniques, and processes used in building construction, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical installations.

·         Stages of construction when defects and violations of building regulations, electrical, plumbing and mechanical codes are most readily observed and corrected.

·         Site development, zoning compliance structural, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, smoke control, fire suppression, and security systems.

·         Principles and practices of modern public administration including planning, organizing, staffing, supervising, training, and performance evaluations.

·         Public relations techniques and practices.

·         Applicable Federal, State, and local laws and ordinances including, but not limited to, Labor Code, Business and Professional regulations for engineers, architects, and state contractor regulations.

·         Principles and practices of building inspection, including current literature and recent developments in the field.

·         Negotiation

·         Conflict resolution

Ability to:

·         Organize, direct, and coordinate the activities of the Construction Division.

·         Mediate and resolve complex technical issues in a timely manner.

·         Accurately assess organizational issues and opportunities.

·         Plan, coordinate, and direct the work of subordinate personnel.

·         Ensure safe buildings and a positive development environment for the City.

·         Establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees, department heads, property owners, contractors, personnel from other jurisdictions, public officials, and the general public.

·         Communicate clearly and concisely, verbally and in writing.

·         Prepare and present clear and concise reports.

·         Present complicated building and policy issues to the City Council and the public.

·         Understand diverse needs of building requests.

·         Exercise sound professional judgment in recognizing and handling politically sensitive issues of public interest.

·         Develop and administer long-range plans consistent with established goals, objectives, and available resources.

Licenses and Certifications:

Certification as a Chief Building Official (CBO) by the International Code Council desirable but not required. A standard Building Level III certification by the State of North Carolina required within a year of appointment. A probationary Building Level III certification is granted by the State of North Carolina upon presentation of the applicant’s relevant experience and credentials. A valid NC Class “C” Driver’s License or ability to obtain.


Applications must be submitted via NEOGOV on the City of Raleigh’s website: www.raleighnc.gov/employment by 11:59 PM on March 10, 2015. Resumes will not be accepted via email. For more information, please contact us at  919-996-3315 or recruiter@raleighnc.gov. The City of Raleigh is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Opportunity



J O B   D E S C R I P T I O N


Property Maintenance and Rental Housing Inspector – Part Time


General Description –


This is responsible and technical work in ensuring compliance with the Township’s building, housing, zoning and property maintenance regulations.  This position enforces property maintenance, rental and student rental unit regulations, and quality of life issues in accordance with International Code Council “ICC” Codes and other ordinances and regulations of the Radnor Township Code.    The employee reports directly to the Director of Community Development.  The work requires the employee have good knowledge, skill and ability in the inspection of properties and the enforcement of applicable codes.


Essential Job Duties –


Enforces property maintenance, rental and student rental unit regulations and building related codes as provided in the Radnor Township Code by conducting inspections and assists in the interpretation of the codes.  Issues correction notices and citations as required.  Represents the Township in District Court when a violation results in the issuance of a civil complaint.


Reviews and analyzes records, property files and relevant Township codes as necessary in performing investigations; establishes and maintains records and files on Township properties.  Assists in the completion and review of permit applications.


Assists in the inspections required for the issuance of Use and Occupancy Certificates.


Coordinates the compliance of rental and student rental unit regulations and student housing inspection programs.


Receives and investigates complaints and inquiries made by Township residents; interviews complainants to determine whether a complaint is justified and recommends action based on information obtained. Prepares correspondence summarizing the results of investigations for the Director of Community Development.


Maintains accurate inspection records and files periodic written and oral reports as required by the Director of Community Development.


Performs related work as required


Qualifications –


Applicants must have a High School Diploma.  A minimum of three (3) years of progressively responsible related experience in building inspection and construction or a related field as well as ICC Certification as a Housing and Property Maintenance Inspector is required.  An equivalent combination of education and experience demonstrating knowledge of building codes and inspections may be considered. 


The successful applicant(s) may be required to obtain additional ICC certifications in related fields in accordance with the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; current certifications considered a plus.  Ability to maintain certification in related areas in accordance with the certification standards of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as required by the Township.


Knowledge of township, county and state codes related to building, health and other related codes; ability to inspect buildings and to recognize deviations from code and safety regulations.


Ability to read and understand complicated plans, blueprints, construction sketches and drawings; ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing.


Functional knowledge of the applications and operation of Geographic Information Systems.


Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Word, Excel and Outlook software for word processing, spreadsheet, database and electronic mail functions.


Candidates must have strong communication and conflict resolution skills and ability to manage a complex work schedule, with positive customer service skills is a must.  Excellent negotiation, written and interpersonal communications skills, with the ability to deal effectively with the general public, elected officials, contractors, fellow staff and employees.


Radnor Township is an equal opportunity employer. 


Must have a valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License at the time of employment.


Physical Requirements –


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions


This is a generally light to moderate work, employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds, must be able to sit for up to 4-8 hours, stand for 2-8 hours, and walk for up to 2-8 hours a day.


Ability to bend, stoop, climb, squat, lift, push/pull, and reach above shoulder level, for up to 40% of the day.


Ability to use both hands for simple grasping and fine manipulation of objects, tools and equipment including repetitive work involving the arms, hands, and fingers.


Ability to drive an automobile


Vocal communication, visual acuity and unimpaired hearing are required


Qualified applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and completed township application form no later than January 14, 2015 to:


Radnor Township

Human Resources

301 Iven Avenue

Wayne, PA 19087


The anticipated starting hourly rate for this position will be a range dependent upon the applicant’s experience & qualifications.  The applicant hired will be required to successfully complete a comprehensive background check, including a screening for alcohol and other drugs, prior to being placed in the position.


Radnor Township is an equal opportunity employer.  It is the Township’s policy to grant job opportunities to qualified persons on the basis of merit without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, armed forces veteran’s status, marital status, political party affiliation, a physical or mental disability that, with or without reasonable accommodations, does not affect the applicant’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job, or any other legally protected status.

Joist Hanger Screws?

One of the most common mistakes code officials see in field is the use of screws in framing hangers. It seems very difficult to comprehend for the layman that nails provide a much more adequate connection for these hangers than screws. They often seem proud at times. "I know the instructions said nails, but I used screws because they are way stronger." Is a quote oft heard with a smile upon the speaker's face, anxiously awaiting their well deserved pat on the back.  I've delivered the disappointing news so many times to these eager pleasers, that one almost begins to feel perhaps they are wrong on some existentital level and perhaps a modern Dante has a special circle reserved for code officials; however, there exists now a possible solution to make everyone happy.

Simpson's SDS screws, aka mini lag bolts, are approved for use with may of their framing hanger products. Their increased shank diameter allows them to maintain sufficient shear strength while allowing the easy mechanically assisted installation that makes normal screws attractive. These screws would seem to solve the additional problem that making the mistake of using screws creates. Once one has been informed that they should have used nails, they simply remove the screws and pop nails into the mangled cavities the screws left in the wood. Common sense would dictate that this does not result in the best possible connection; thus, these thicker screws would seem to be a more logical solution to this common dilemma.

More info on these connectors can be found here. 

Confusing Code Issues: Mandatory Rigid Insulation

There are certain portions of the code that can be a bit confusing, or perhaps have been hastily added without the proper review to determine their clarity on intent. Two such code sections are Table 502.2(1) of the IECC, and Table 1015.1 of the IBC. 

Table 502.2(1) of the IECC evolved recently from having one easy to read R-Value for walls in most types of construction, to the mysterious appearance of an additional R-Value with a ci subtext notation. Further explanation can be found in Table 502.2(2), which indicates that this ci or continuous insulation means that rigid insulation should be provided on many exterior walls in addition to the normal cavity insulation; however, the logic is never fully explained, even in the commentary. This has led to confusing requests from designers, builders, etc. to code officials as to whether or not they could simply provide more cavity insulation in lieu of completely "sealing up" the structure. The correct answer is no. The idea behind this continuous layer of ridged insulation is to cut down on what is known as a thermal bridge. In construction the framing members or small mass walls can act as a thermal bridge conducting heat from inside the structure to the cool exterior. The ridgid insualtion in essence raises the drawbridge on these thermal highways, and in addition may help keep moisture where it belongs on the outside of the structure; thus, these effects cannot be achieved by simply further insualting the wall cavity.

Table 1015.1 is a fairly straightforward summary of spaces which only require one means of egress. Studying the table one can determine that a group E occupancy may have up to 49 people before a secondary egress is required based strictly upon the occupant load, but there is a footnote indicating that daycares are limited to 10 unless a secondary means of egress is provided. This would also seem very clear; however, when inquiring minds scour the commentary for the impetus behind this slight change, this issue becomes a bit hazy. The commentary goes on to explain that this provision was actually added to increase the safety of occupancies that were actually I-4, but were permitted to elude the stringent requirements of IBC Chapter 9 due to their grade level location and access. Instead of making this a separate requirement for these particular situations, the code as written seems to make this a blanket requirement for all group E daycare spaces. As a result even daycares for older children that have classrooms as small as 400 square feet, are now technically required to have two means of egress. A code official may decide to apply some logic to the code and not require such situations to comply with this requirement. Although I personally wouldn't want to be preaching logic and the commentary, if something unfortunate were to happen in such a building; however, the 2012 code has removed/clarified this requirement, so PA will hopefuly be able to enforce this logically sometime in the next decade.