Building Codes

The purpose of building codes are to guide government agencies in meeting their minimum obligations to protect the general welfare of the population they serve. Codes are designed to prevent damage to property, as well as injury or death to persons, and these objectives are accomplished by applying accumulated knowledge to the avoidance, reduction, or elimination of definable hazards.

Codes generally apply to the built environment and, when adopted by the pertinent authority, become lawful requirements that mandate compliance. An authority may write its own code document or may adopt other code documents. Different states and/or municipalities are free to adopt different codes.

Standards are usually regarded only as recommendations that do not have the force of law, unless the standard is adopted by the authority having jurisdiction. It is common for sections of a local code to refer to nationally recognized standards. In many instances, entire sections of the standards are adopted into the code by reference, and then become legally enforceable.

There are three main organizations in the United States who write codes that impact the indoor environment industry: IAPMOICC and NFPA.


For Contractors

Code References
ACCA sells a number of code references at our online store.

Codes 101 Brochure
This brochure covers the basics of codes and standards and is aimed at providing contractors with a general understanding of these issues so that they can become more involved in the code development processes that affect the HVAC industry.

Residential System Review Form
ACCA has crafted an easy-to-use evaluation of HVAC system design elements in the pertinent building codes.

ACCA Codes Committee
Get involved in ACCA’s Codes Committee and make a difference in the development and adoption of good building codes.

For Code Officials

ACCA provides a number of downloadable resources to help code officials ensure that proper indoor environment systems have been designed and installed.

Code Brochures
ACCA has developed several brochures which help code officials verify residential load calculations, duct design and equipment selection in accordance with Manuals J, D, and S. While it’s not practical for code officials to verify every single aspect of these submissions, these brochures offer checklists for a simplified verification process.

Load Calculation Software
An important warning notice for code officials about the dangers of inappropriate load calculation software.


ACCA in Building Codes

The following national codes make reference to specific ACCA procedures in order to comply. Jurisdictions that adopt these codes require the use of ACCA procedures as outlined in our technical manuals.

The IAPMO’s Uniform Mechanical Code requires the use of Manual J (Residential Load Calculation), Manual N (Commercial Load Calculation), Manual D (Residential Duct Systems), and Manual Q (Commercial Duct Systems).

The ICC’s International Mechanical Code requires the use of Manual D (Residential Duct Systems).

The ICC’s International Residential Code requires the use of Manual J (Residential Load Calculation) and Manual S (Residential Equipment Selection).

The ICC’s International Energy Conservation Code requires the use of Manual J (Residential Load Calculation) and Manual S (Residential Equipment Selection).