Beginning January 1, 2020, the Town of Frisco will be implementing the 2018 International Building Construction Codes, and amendments, for all new projects. According to Rick Weinman, Frisco Building Official, “The Town has adopted the 2018 Codes to stay current with national building standards that improve energy efficiency and building safety.”
Over the past year, Frisco worked with the other building officials in Summit County to evaluate the ramifications of the code changes prescribed by updated versions of the International Codes. Collectively, all of the building officials in the county met with the Summit County Builders Association, High Country Conservation Center (HC3), the fire districts and a number of designers/architects to seek their feedback and technical consideration and to inform the building community of the code changes. Subsequently, the 2018 International Building Construction Codes have been adopted by Summit County and the towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, and Silverthorne.
The following provides general information regarding changes between the 2012 and 2018 code series, and amendments:
1) Fire Hazard Mitigation- The Town of Frisco will be implementing a fire hazard mitigation program, which will now be consistent throughout Summit County, and is based on the new Firewise USA standards. Firewise USA is a national standard created by the National Fire Protection Association in cooperation with the United States Forest Service. Research around home destruction vs. home survival in wildfires points to embers and small flames as the most common cause of structure fires. Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile by wind and can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects. By improving defensible space around homes and using non-combustible materials on exteriors and decks, homeowners can better prepare their homes to withstand ignition by embers and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fires reaching their homes.
2) Energy Efficiency- The 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requirements for blower door testing, and continuous exterior insulation are the same as those in the 2012 IECC. Yet, the maximum U-factor (rate of heat loss) rating dropped from 0.32 to 0.30 in the 2018 IECC.
3) Summit Sustainable Building Code (SSBC). A Sustainable Code Steering Committee was formed to evaluate programs and make recommendations for increased sustainable construction achievements, both for residential and commercial buildings, to align with the Summit Community Climate Action Plan. A diverse group of community members including staff from the HC3, town and county planners, building officials, builders and design professionals have been meeting on a regular basis, and have made recommendations for adoption of regulations that align with the Summit Community Climate Action Plan later this spring. In the interim, the existing Summit Sustainable Building Code will remain in place, with the addition that all homes be made EV (electric vehicle) ready, and PV (photovoltaic) ready.
The 2018 International Building Construction Codes are available for in person review at Frisco Town Hall, 1 Main Street in Frisco, or through the Summit County Public Library; they may also be purchased through iccsafe.org. More information regarding the Town’s development process and building codes may be found at the Town of Frisco’s Building Division page.