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Applicable DC Construction Codes

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The DC Construction Codes specify the minimum acceptable level of safety for constructed objects such as buildings and non-building structures. The DC Construction Codes also contain property maintenance provisions that apply to lots and building sites, as well as any buildings or structures located on lots or sites. The main purpose of the Construction Codes is to protect public health, safety and general welfare of the occupants, or users of buildings and structures and the general public.

When approved by the DC Council, the Construction Codes become law. Although the Construction Codes contain the most extensive requirements governing construction and property maintenance in the District of Columbia, property owners must also be cognizant of and comply with other local laws and regulations, including but not limited to Zoning Regulations (11 DCMR), housing business licensing requirements, and laws governing unsafe structures and vacant properties.

Effective March 28, 2014, the District of Columbia adopted 11 of the 2012 International Codes (I-Codes) published by the International Code Council (ICC), and the 2011 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), subject to  changes, deletions and/or additions to the I-Codes or the NEC as set forth in Title 12 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) (the DC Construction Codes Supplement). The 2013 District of Columbia Construction Codes can be found here.

For further information about the ICC and its code development process, please refer to the ICC’s website at www.iccsafe.org. The I-Codes are copyrighted by the ICC or NFPA, as applicable, and are therefore not republished here. View a copy of the ICC text.  View a copy of the NEC text. Copies of the codes can also be purchased directly from these organizations.


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