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Draft 9th Edition of the Building Code Approved by BBRS

On November 10, 2015, the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) completed an effort, which has lasted well over a year, by approving the draft 9th Edition of the MA State Building Code (780 CMR), based on the 2015 I-Codes, as published by the International Code Council (ICC). 

The draft code is now subject to review by the Building Code Coordinating Council (BCCC) for the elimination of redundancy, inconsistencies and jurisdictional overlap with other state codes. The first BCCC review meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th.

Upon completion of BCCC review, the draft will be entered into the Baker Administrations review process as prescribed by Executive Order (EO) 562. Following this review, a public hearing will be scheduled to afford all interested parties an opportunity to provide comment on the draft code. Depending on the nature of the comments received, BBRS members may choose to make adjustments to the draft code language. (See Note 1)

When public hearings processes and related reviews are completed, BBRS members will then approve final content and file the 9th edition with the Office of the Secretary of State who establishes an effective date for the new code. Although much depends on successful completion of the EO 562 process, it is expected that the new code will become effective during the first half of 2016 (See Note 2).

In an effort to provide the most comprehensive code possible, and minimize the number of amendments after promulgation, the BBRS will be accepting written comments before, during, and after the public hearing.  Any person can submit their comments to the BBRS by emailing Felix Zemel, Technical Director, Department of Public Safety at

It is encouraged that all code users and enforcers start to become familiar with provisions of the applicable 2015 I-Codes and associated Massachusetts amendments over the next several months in preparation for the transition.

Architects and their consultants should consider changes in the 9th edition that may affect projects scheduled for permit application during the first quarter of next year. However, please remember that there may be changes made due to the comments received at, or before, public hearing (See Note 3).

The 9th edition code (780 CMR) consists of two volumes:

  • The Base Volume consists of the 2015 versions of the International Building Code (IBC), Existing Building Code (IEBC), Energy Conservation Code (IECC), and by reference, the International Fire Code (IFC) and Mechanical Code (IMC) along with Massachusetts amendments thereto; and
  • The Residential Volume which consists of the 2015 version of the International Residential Code (IRC) and Massachusetts amendments thereto.

A draft of the 9th Edition 780 CMR is noted below in .pdf format.

For a link to the base 2015 I-Codes select the following:

**NOTE 1 - As there is no way of determining exactly how long the BCCC and EO 562 will take, BBRS members estimate a public hearing will likely to occur sometime in March of 2016.**

**NOTE 2 - Again, as there is no way of determining exactly how long the BCCC and EO 562 will take, BBRS members can only think likely an effective date for the 9th Edition will be July 1, 2016**

**NOTE 3  - As legal counsel has advised BBRS members that Massachusetts General Law does not allow concurrency to exist between codes, no concurrency period will exist between the 8th and 9th edition. Instead, BBRS members have agreed that the State Building Code Appeals Board variances process should be used by projects seeking to continue design/construction under the 8th edition.**

BBRS(2015.11.10)---BaseCode(FINAL_REDLINE).pdf1.42 MB
BBRS(2015.11.10)---BaseCode_Figures_and_Tables_Only(FINAL_REDLINE).pdf1.15 MB
BBRS(2015.11.10)---MA_SpecialRegulations(FINAL_REDLINE).pdf724.96 KB
BBRS(2015.11.10)---ResCode(FINAL_REDLINE).pdf819.13 KB
BBRS(2015.11.10)---ResCode_Figures_and_Tables_Only(FINAL_REDLINE).pdf306.34 KB