conflicts between the code and construction documents

Conflicts between the CODE and construction documents occur on every project. Similarly, conflicts between the project drawings and specifications also occur on practically every project. Anticipate it and understand the order of precedence if this occurs: when there are conflicts between the project drawings and specifications, the specifications always take precedence.

Nearly every state in the country has statewide building codes. These codes are clear that when conflicts arise between the statewide code and the IBC code, the statewide code supersedes any provisions of the IBC code, including the IBC-adopted reference codes and standards. The requirements of the IBC code take precedence over all of the various codes and standards adopted by the IBC code as well.

Construction documents must stipulate the minimum requirements of the IBC code. The IBC code states the minimum code compliance criteria for construction materials and construction methods for the project. The construction documents may (and often do) require more than the minimums stated in the IBC code. When this happens, the more stringent requirements of the construction documents are enforced.

Many folks in the design and construction community think the words building code have a distinctly negative connotation. This perspective is understandable when the words only come up in the context of seemingly obscure requirements that the average person may not fully understand.


IBC Code, Section 102.4.1 Conflicts. Where conflicts occur between provisions of this code (IBC) and referenced codes and standards, the provisions of this code shall apply.

The IBC code is a model code that provides MINIMUM requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of the occupants of new and existing buildings and structures.


For more information or further enthusiastic discourse on topics of CODE, please contact Alan Tuck at: or 540.344.7939