Free Online Building Codes

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Free online building codes are becoming widely available due to their convenience and the ability to keep them updated without having to issue addenda. A list of the FREE codes that we are aware of is included below. If you know of any that should be added to this list, please let us know.

International Code Council

The International Code Council provides free code references for a number of states, plus free access to the International Codes.  It is important to refer to the specific requirements for your local jurisdiction since many state and local agencies have modifications to the code.

The codes are updated every three years and the latest revision is the 2018 version. Keep in mind that your jurisdiction may not have adopted the most recent version of the ICC codes so an older version may apply to your project.

Don't see the International Code you need?  Here is the full list of I-Codes so you can find what you are looking for.

Did you know that the iCodes are available for purchase on Amazon? We've added links below for the versions available for purchase. As an Amazon Associate Archtoolbox earns from qualifying purchases on this page.

International Building Code

International Residential (One and Two Family) Code

International Existing Building Code

International Energy Conservation Code

International Fire Code

International Plumbing Code

International Mechanical Code

ICC Code Commentaries

The International Code Council provides other versions of their code books, which include code commentaries to help professionals understand the intent of the code. These are incredibly helpful for understanding complex code issues. Unfortunately, the code commentary versions are not available for free online.

You can purchase the commentaries directly through the ICC website or you can usually find them on Amazon.

National Fire Protection Association (United States)

The NFPA is the world's leading advocate for fire prevention. They provide free access to the latest edition of their codes (registration is required). Below is a list of some of the most referenced codes for architects:

United States Access Board

The US Access Board is a federal agency that promotes equality for the disabled. They are responsible for maintaining the accessibility guidelines for public buildings and spaces in the United States. If you are interested in a more detailed overview of the United States accessibility law, check out our article: ADA Standards for Accessible Design.  It is important to refer to the specific requirements for your local jurisdiction since many state and local agencies have more stringent requirements than the federal codes. Below are links to specific codes and laws:

Article Updated: February 21, 2021

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