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Environmental Design, Architecture & Planning: Codes & Engineering

Architectural Engineering & Systems Research

Building Codes

What are Building Codes?

  • Rules for the construction of buildings and structures to protect safety and health
  • Address fire, safety, structure, plumbing, electrical and mechanical aspects of buildings
  • Codes are established by local municipalities but are often based on national recommendations


Find Building Codes

1. Search Local Municipality for Building Codes

  • Building codes are generally based on the International Code Council’s (ICC) model codes, but every state and municipality has its own code adoption process and may choose to modify codes to meet local needs. 
  • Conduct an internet search of local and state building codes and related information for your building site. 

2. Search for International Code Council (ICC) codes in MADCAD.


3. Search for municipal codes for thousands of U.S. Cities in Municode Library.


4. Other Important Guidelines for Building Design and Construction

  • Some important codes--such as fire and plumbing codes--are often not addressed specifically in building codes and may not be checked for when building plans are submitted for review. They may be discovered during physical inspection, so it is important to incorporate them into planning and design.


Colorado and Boulder Building Codes

Cost Estimating


What are Technical Standards?

  • Guidelines for processes, materials and products that ensure quality, safety and interchangeability of parts
  • Usually written by industrial/professional organizations, business groups, and government bodies
  • There are both national and international standards


Find more information about standards at:

Ask a Librarian at the Gemmill Library of Engineering, Math & Physics

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