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Brief History of Residential Foundation Codes in Pennsylvania

Monday, February 20th, 2023 by Aaron Stull

Brief History of Residential Foundation Codes in Pennsylvania - Image 1Residential foundation building codes in Pennsylvania have evolved over time, with various codes and regulations being implemented to ensure the safety and durability of residential buildings. Here's a brief overview of the major developments in residential foundation building codes in Pennsylvania:

  • 1939: The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC) was first adopted, which established statewide building standards and regulations for residential and commercial construction.

  • 1949: The first edition of the Building Officials and Code Administrators National (BOCA) National Building Code was published, which included provisions for residential foundation construction.

  • 1962: The BOCA National Building Code was adopted by the state of Pennsylvania, becoming the first statewide building code for residential and commercial construction.

  • 1972: The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry established the Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC), which conducts research on residential building practices and develops guidelines for building codes.

  • 1999: The International Residential Code (IRC) was published, which includes provisions for residential foundation construction. The state of Pennsylvania adopted the IRC in 2004, replacing the BOCA National Building Code.

  • 2015: The Pennsylvania UCC was updated to adopt the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), which includes provisions for foundation construction.

Over the years, as new information become available, as well as patterns of damage and deficiencies were detected, the foundation code evolved to get ahead of the problems that were occurring.  Although these codes would not help already built homes, they would prevent issues in the future. Today, residential foundation building codes in Pennsylvania are based on the IRC and the IBC, with additional state-specific regulations and guidelines developed by the PHRC. These codes and regulations help to ensure that residential foundations are built to a high standard of safety and durability, protecting homeowners and their property for years to come.

About the author
Aaron Stull is a second generation foundation repair specialist from the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

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