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Building Codes Adopted in North Carolina

The provisions of the North Carolina Residential Code for One- and Two-family Dwellings are applicable to the construction, movement, enlargement, alteration, repair, replacement, equipment, location, use and occupancy, removal and demolition of separate one- and two-family dwellings and townhouses not more than three stories above grade plane in height with a detached means of egress and their accessory buildings and structures.


Live/work units conforming to the requirements of Section 419 of the North Carolina Building Code should be allowed to be built as one- and two-family dwellings or townhouses. Fire suppression required by Section 419.5 of the North Carolina Building Code when constructed under the North Carolina Residential Code for one- and two-family dwellings requires adhering to Section 903.3.1.3 of the International Building Code.


The main objective of this code is to establish bare minimum requirements to safeguard the public security, health and general welfare through affordability, stability, structural strength, means of egress facilities, light and ventilation, sanitation, energy conservation and safety & security of life and property from fire and other risks ascribed to the built environment.


Listed below are the codes that are applicable to construction work in the State of North Carolina:

  • N.C. State Building Code
  • N.C. State Building Code Residential Code
  • N.C. State Rehabilitation Code
  • N.C. State Building Code (Chp 11) & ANSI A117.1
  • N.C. State Plumbing Code
  • N.C. State Mechanical Code
  • N.C. State Fuel Gas Code
  • N.C. State Electrical Code (NEC w NC amendments)
  • N.C. State Fire Code
  • N.C. State Energy Code
  • N.C. Administrative Code and Policies



North Carolina has statewide mandatory building codes that apply to all buildings except one and two family dwellings. Amendments and interpretations are published by the North Carolina Building Inspectors Association. North Carolina adopts the model code every three years. State amendments are adopted every three years.


Code Type Code Model
Building/Dwelling Code IBC 2009 (North Carolina State Building Code, 2012)
Structural Code IBC 2009 (North Carolina State Building Code, 2012)
Plumbing Code IPC 2009 (North Carolina State Plumbing Code, 2012)
Mechanical Code IMC 2009 (North Carolina State Mechanical Code, 2012)
Electrical Code NEC 2008 (North Carolina State Electrical Code, 2011)
Fire/Life Safety Code IFC 2009 (North Carolina State Fire Prevention Code, 2012)
Accessibility Code ICC/ANSI 117.1 2003 and Chapter 11 of the 2012 NC State Accessibility Code) Ch 11 of the 2012 North Carolina Building Code and the 2003 ANSI 117.1 Code
Energy Code IECC 2009 (North Carolina State Energy Code, 2012)
Elevator Code IECC 2009 (North Carolina State Energy Code, 2012)
Gas Code IFGC 2009 (North Carolina State Fuel Gas Code, 2012)
Boiler Code Uniform Boiler and Pressure Vessel Act of North Carolina


The following 2012 Codes were effective from September 1, 2011 and are currently effective:


  • 2012 Administrative
  • 2012 Building
  • 2012 Energy Conservation
  • 2012 Fire Prevention
  • 2012 Fuel Gas
  • 2012 Mechanical
  • 2012 Plumbing

  • Residential Code: The 2012 Residential Code was effective from January 1, 2012 and is currently effective.
  • Accessibility Code
  • Electrical Code:The 2011 Electrical Code was effective from July 3, 2011 and is currently effective. There were no transition periods between various editions of the Electrical Code.
  • Existing Buildings Code
  • Rehabilitation Code


Building Codes Adopted in North Carolina

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