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Construction Codes have become an important issue for Georgia's
local governments, building professionals and citizens alike. The following
is a general overview of Georgia's Construction Code Program, including
enforcement, local amendments, current codes, and whom to call if you have
questions regarding construction codes and related issues in Georgia.
The Uniform Codes
Act is codified at chapter 2 of title 8 of The Official Code of Georgia
Annotated. O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-20(9)(B). Below is a list of the current mandatory and permissive state codes.
Each of these separate codes typically consist of a base code (e.g.
The International Building Code as published by the International Code Council) and a set of Georgia amendments to the
base code. The mandatory codes are
applicable to all construction whether or not they are locally
enforced and the permissive codes are only applicable if a local government
chooses to adopt and enforce one or more of these codes. These
codes are as follows:
- International Building Code
- International Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings
- International Fire Code
- International Plumbing Code
- International Mechanical Code
- International Fuel Gas Code
- National Electrical Code
- International Energy Conservation Code
- International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
- Disaster Resilient Building Code IBC Appendix
- Disaster Resilient Building Code IRC Appendix
- International Property Maintenance Code
- International Existing Building Code
- National Green Building Standard
As noted above, the building, one and two family dwelling residential, fire, plumbing, mechanical,
gas, electrical, energy, and swimming pool codes are mandatory codes, meaning that under Georgia law,
any structure built in Georgia must comply with these codes, whether or not the local
government chooses to locally enforce these codes.
In addition, since Georgia law gives the enumerated codes statewide applicability, it is not required that local governments have to adopt the mandatory codes. Local governments must, however, adopt administrative procedures in order to enforce them (O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-25(a)).
However, the local government can choose which of the mandatory codes
it wishes to locally enforce.
The remaining codes are referred to as permissive
codes. Unlike the mandatory codes, in order for a local government
to enforce one or more of these permissive codes, that code or codes
must be adopted, either by ordinance or resolution, by the local
jurisdiction. A copy of the ordinance or resolution adopted must
be forwarded to DCA (O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-25 (b)).
Administration and Enforcement of the State
Minimum Standard Codes
In order to properly administer and enforce the state minimum standard codes, local
governments must adopt reasonable administrative provisions. The power to adopt these
administrative procedures is set forth in O.C.G.A. Section 8-2-26(a)(1). These provisions
should include procedural requirements for the enforcement of the codes, provisions for
hearings, provisions for appeals from decisions of local inspectors, and any other
procedures necessary for the proper local administration and enforcement of the state
minimum standard codes. These powers include:
- Inspecting buildings and other structures to ensure compliance
with the code;
- Employing inspectors and other personnel necessary for the
proper enforcement of codes;
- Requiring permits and to establishment charges for said permits;
- Contracting with other local governments for code enforcement.
DCA periodically reviews, amends and/or updates the
state minimum standard codes. If a local government chooses to locally
enforce any of these codes, it must enforce the latest editions and
the amendments adopted by DCA.
DCA has developed a sample resolution/ordinance that
may be used as a guide for local governments in the development of
their administrative procedures. Please contact DCA for a copy of
this sample resolution/ordinance and for any technical assistance
needed in the development of a local code enforcement program.
It should be noted that The Uniform Codes Act states
that the appendices of the codes are not enforceable unless referenced
in the body of the code, adopted by DCA, or specifically adopted
by a municipality or county. If any appendices have been adopted
by DCA, they will be noted in the Georgia amendments as such.
The Uniform Codes Act provides that local governments
may, under certain conditions, adopt local amendments to the state
minimum standard codes. Please note that DCA does not approve
or disapprove any local amendment. The department provides a recommendation
only. However, in order to enforce any local amendment, the local
government must submit the proposed amendment to DCA for review (O.C.G.A.
There are several requirements local governments
must meet in order to enact a local code amendment. These requirements
are as follows:
The requirements in the proposed local amendment
cannot be less stringent than the requirements in the state minimum
The local requirements must be based on local
climatic, geologic, topographic, or public safety factors;
The legislative findings of the local governing
body must identify the need for the more stringent requirements;
The local government must submit the proposed
amendment to DCA 60 days prior to the proposed adoption of such
After submittal of the proposed local amendment,
DCA has 60 days in which to forward its recommendations to the local
government. DCA may respond in three ways: recommend adoption of
the amendment, recommend the amendment not be adopted, or have no
comment on the proposal. If DCA recommends against the adoption of
the proposed amendment, the local governing body must vote specifically
to reject DCA's recommendation before the local amendment can be
adopted and enforced. If DCA fails to respond within the 60-day time frame,
the local government may adopt the proposed local amendment.
After adoption by the local governing authority,
copies of local amendments must be filed with DCA.
The Current State Minimum Standard Codes
The following are the current state minimum standard codes for
construction as adopted by the Board of Community Affairs.
Current Mandatory Codes as Adopted by DCA:
- International Building Code, 2012
Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2014) (2015) (2017) (2018)
- International Residential Code, 2012 Edition, with
Georgia Amendments (2014) (2015) (2018)
- International Fire Code, 2012 Edition, with Georgia
International Plumbing Code, 2012
Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2014) (2015)
International Mechanical Code,
2012 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2014) (2015)
Fuel Gas Code, 2012 Edition, with Georgia Amendments
- National Electrical Code, 2017 Edition (No Georgia Amendments)
- International Energy Conservation Code, 2009 Edition, with Georgia Supplements and Amendments
- International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, 2012 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2014)
- For information and questions regarding the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101) or the Georgia Accessibility Code please contact the State Fire Marshal's Office.
Current Permissive Codes as Adopted by DCA:
- Disaster Resilient Building Code IBC Appendix(2013)
- Disaster Resilient Building Code IRC Appendix (2013)
- International Property Maintenance
Code, 2012 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2015)
- International Existing Building Code, 2012 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2015)
- National Green Building Standard, 2008 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2011)
PLEASE NOTE: There are Georgia Amendments to the codes, above. GEORGIA AMENDMENTS ARE AVAILABLE HERE. Please contact the Construction Codes and Industrialized Buildings Section for more information concerning these amendments.
Energy Code Resources
Downloads & Related Links
Code Enforcement and Administration: Guidelines
for Local Governments
State Code Amendment Form (MS Word Doc)
Local Government Code Amendment Form (MS Word Doc)
Construction Codes Map (PDF)
For more information please contact:
Office of Construction
Codes and Industrialized Buildings (404)679-3118.