1222 Model Codes

Model codes can be adopted (although not required; state or local agencies can write their own codes) to address the design, construction, and operation of buildings and facilities. Model codes are not designed to exclude a given technology and generally focus on prescriptive solutions that allow performance-based alternatives. That said, approval of non-referenced designs is dependent upon the local code official and his comfort level with how a new product respects life safety concerns.

Model building codes were historically developed by three regional organizations that covered the northeastern (Building Code Officials and Code Administrators, or BOCA), southeastern (Southern Building Code Congress International, or SBCCI), midwestern, and western U.S. (International Conference of Building Officials, or ICBO), respectively. This regionalization led to contradictory building requirements between even adjacent local jurisdictions, driving up the cost of equipment, supplies, and building designs. In the early 1990s, the three code organizations agreed to cooperate within a single framework for national guidelines, resulting in the International Code Council (ICC).

The ICC is responsible for separate international energy conservation, fuel gas, mechanical, one- and two-family dwelling, plumbing, building, fire, and residential model codes. The three regional model code groups continue to operate, competing as service organizations (education services, plan review, etc.) to the building and code communities.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also develops documents in model code language that, because they are developed by a standards organization, are not considered true model codes. NFPA 70, the National Electric Code, and NFPA 54, the National Fuel Gas Code, are relied upon heavily by local code authorities, however, and are referenced extensively in the model codes.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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