Code Comparison of IBC 2006 and NFPA 101 2006  


The purpose of IDQ A/E Task Order #006 is to compare the fire and safety requirements of the International Building Code (IBC) 2006 and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 – 2006 to:

  • find the differences between these two documents in terms of their philosophy, purpose, content and scope; and their implications to the Department of Veterans Affairs;
  • present all conflicting requirements related to fire and safety issues concerning health care facilities;
  • develop a Code Policy Document that incorporates the IBC 2006 and NFPA 101 2006 based on an evaluation of those code requirements and the implementation of this code policy to actual projects.

HDR, Inc. in conjunction with Rolf Jenson & Associates, Inc. is pleased to present their findings in reference to this task order. The following sections 3-11 compare various requirements of each code. The comparisons of the two codes include definitions, some occupancy classifications, special occupancy requirements, building heights and areas, types and fire ratings of construction, interior finishes, fire protection systems, and finally, means of egress. Certain building uses that are not generally found at VA facilities are not included in these comparisons. A few examples of these excluded uses are malls, athletic/sporting buildings, mercantile buildings, manufacturing plants and single family homes.

Also not included in the comparisons are the IBC occupancy classifications for High-Hazard Group H or Mercantile Group M and their equivalents in the NFPA 101. Section 2 provides the analysis of the comparisons of the philosophy or approach to fire and safety issues of each code. It also indicates the recommended code policy to be used by the Department of Veterans Affairs to blend the best features of both codes. This recommended strategy will accommodate both the JCAHO constraints and a holistic approach to life safety for the design professional.