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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Ind. Law - Indiana building codes, part of the Indiana Administrative Code, are copyrighted and not available online

The ILB entry yesterday on the Fire Prevention and Building Safety Commission called to mind another very irksome situation insofar as the accessibility of Indiana laws and rules is concerned.

It is not an easy thing to review the Indiana State Building Codes in the Indiana Administrative Code (here is the link to 675 IAC).

Why not? Because Indiana has incorporated by reference the copyrighted "International Building Code, 2006 Edition, first printing, as published by the International Code Council, Inc." 675 IAC 13-2.5-1 provides:

Sec. 1. (a) That certain document being titled the International Building Code, 2006 Edition, first printing, as published by the International Code Council, Inc., 500 New Jersey Avenue NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20001-2070, is hereby adopted by reference as if fully set out in this rule save and except those revisions made in sections 2 through 36 of this rule.

(b) This rule is available for review and reference at the:
Code Services Department
Indiana Government Center-South
402 West Washington Street, Room W246
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

All you will find in the Indiana rules are provisions such as:
675 IAC 13-2.5-3. * * * (F) Add the definition: BUILDING CODE: BUILDING CODE means the INDIANA BUILDING CODE.
These are exceptions to what is in the published International Code, and of course mean nothing to you if you can't read them with a copy of that Code.So what is an Indiana citizen to do? The copyrighted codes are nowhere freely available online. Go downtown and read the agency's copy. Or maybe there is one at your library. Or you can purchase one for $95 from the International Code. Actually, in all cases it is two: you'll need both the International Code and the state exceptions. And the state has a number of different codes, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, etc.

Here is the Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security homepage, which houses what used to be the Administrative Building Council. I did not find it helpful.

More helpful, perhaps, is this page from the Goshen Building Dept., which near the bottom lists all the current construction codes in effect in Indiana.

This situation with copyrighted building codes forming part of our state law is not unique to Indiana.

And the problem may not be limited to the building codes, although it turns out that, for instance, the 2002 Real Property Assessment Manual & Guidelines (effective until 2011-pay-2012), which are incorporated by reference at 50 IAC 2.3-1-2, are in fact available online is a useable format through the Dept. of Local Government Finance.

I may have more later.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 7, 2008 03:15 PM
Posted to Indiana Government