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New Building, Accessibility and Plumbing Codes are Coming

In November 2015, the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) voted to move the “draft” 9th edition 780 CMR Base and Residential building codes into the Baker Administrations Executive Order (E.O.) 562 process.

Also in November 2015, the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gasfitters voted to move a variety of “draft” proposed changes to their 248 CMR Uniform State Plumbing Code into the Baker Administrations E.O. 562 process.

In December 2015, the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) voted to move their proposed new “draft” edition 521 CMR accessibility code into the Baker Administrations E.O. 562 process.

At the conclusion of the above mentioned E.O. 562 processes, public hearings will be scheduled to afford all interested parties an opportunity to provide comment on the respective “draft” codes.

Depending on the nature of the comments received, the respective boards may choose to make adjustments to their “draft” code language.

When public hearings processes and related reviews are completed, the respective boards will then approve final code content and file their language with the Office of the Secretary of State who establishes effective dates for all new codes.

AIA Massachusetts has been working with the Baker Administration and the three respective boards to determine when public hearings will be scheduled for each of the codes, but a clear time line has not yet been determined.

That being the case, and for the purpose of design team planning, AIA Massachusetts offers the following:

  • All architects and their design teams should start to become familiar with the various draft proposals.

  • While exact public hearings dates are unknown, and therefore effective dates are unknown, the three respective boards have indicated their preference for effective dates to begin in July 2016.

  • Concurrency periods for the 780 CMR and 521 CMR will exist. Language has been developed and included in Chapter One of each code which allows for a six (6) month period following the effective date of the most current version of the code an option of complying with either the previous version of the code in its entirety or the new code in its entirety, but not a combination of both.  The decision of which regulations should be followed must be made before applying for a building permit. (Important – Assuming a July 2016 effective date, if you feel your project might fall within the proposed 6 month swing period, considering reaching out to the local building and fire officials as soon as possible to begin discussions about your design intent. If you are working on a state-owned project, please reach out to the state inspector assigned to your project)

  • Public hearings – while exact dates are unknown, AIA Massachusetts would like to begin collecting member comments regarding the various proposed changes. Once dates for public hearings are established, and so as to protect individual members identities, all comments will be submitted to the respective boards under the signature of the President of AIA Massachusetts. Please feel free to submit your thoughts, comments or proposed changes to AIA Massachusetts Executive Director, John Nunnari at

If you have any further questions, please contact AIA Massachusetts Executive Director, John Nunnari at or 617-951-1433 x.263

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
248 CMR 10.00 Revisions Redlined-120315.pdf8.08 MB
Proposed Changes 2006-15 - 020416 - New Drawings thru Section 13.pdf6.32 MB