Uniform Construction Code
These pages provide information regarding Pennsylvania's statewide building code, generally known as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). Enforcement of the UCC began in April 2004.
Act 35 of 2017 and
Act 36 of 2017 went into effect October 25, 2017. These acts amend the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act. Please go to "Regulations and Statutes" for further information.
See "Codes and Standards Enforced Under the UCC" below for information about which version of the triennial codes applies to your construction project.
Administration and Enforcement of the UCC
On October 26, 2022, the Commonwealth Court issued an opinion in Pennsylvania Builders Association v. Department of Labor and Industry, which permanently enjoined enforcement of the 2021 accessibility updates to the Uniform Construction Code. As such, effective immediately, you must cease all enforcement of the 2021 accessibility standards. Since the 2018 accessibility standards were in effect before December 25, 2021 and were unchallenged, all structures must still comply with the 2018 accessibility requirements.
Please be advised that the Court’s decision does not affect enforcement of the non-accessibility requirements of the Uniform Construction Code.
Over 90% of Pennsylvania's 2,562 municipalities have elected to administer and enforce the UCC locally, using their own employees or via certified third party agencies (private code enforcement agencies) that they have retained. In these municipalities, the Department has no code enforcement authority, except where the municipality lacks the services of a person certified as an "Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner."
If a municipality has "OPTED-OUT," the Department is responsible for all commercial code enforcement in that municipality. The Department also has sole jurisdiction for all elevators and all state-owned buildings, no matter where they are located.
Certified third party agencies hired by property owners (or their contractors) enforce the residential requirements of the UCC in all opt-out municipalities. Detailed information about these agencies can be accessed by clicking on the link below entitled "Certified Third Party Agencies: Buildings" (found under "Code Official and Third Party Agency Info").
A listing of all of Pennsylvania's municipalities and their decisions regarding local enforcement of the UCC can be accessed below by clicking on the link entitled "Municipal Elections and Contact Information" (under the "Local Enforcement" header).
Codes and Standards Enforced Under the UCC
The revised regulations adopting the 2018 I Code series as reviewed and amended by the Review and Advisory Council (RAC) have an effective date of February 14, 2022. Where a design or construction contract is signed before this effective date, application may be made and permit issued under the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) in effect at the time of contract as long as application is made August 14, 2022 or before. Municipalities are permitted to adopt ordinance specifying a period prior to August 14, 2022. Additionally, the accessibility provisions of the 2021 I Code series were published on December 25, 2021 and became effective on December 25, 2021. The accessibility provisions adopted are also subject to the design contract provisions stated previously. Where a design or construction contract is signed before this effective date, application may be made and permit issued for accessibility provisions under the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) in effect at the time of contract as long as application is made June 25, 2022 or before.
In 1999, the Legislature established the act and directed the Department to promulgate regulations adopting certain building codes as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC). Since then, various codes issued by the ICC, including the International Building Code (IBC), have been adopted, in whole or in part, by reference into the UCC. Traditionally, the ICC has published fire and smoke protection features for elevator lobbies in Chapter 7 of the IBC. Every 3 years, the ICC publishes revisions to the ICC codes.
In Act 106 of 2008, the General Assembly established the RAC, whose members represent industry sectors that participate in the various aspects relating to building construction including building component design, construction, building code enforcement and local government representation. The RAC is charged to review the periodic changes to the revised ICC codes prior to adoption into the UCC.
On October 17, 2018, the UCC RAC voted to adopt Section 3006 (relating to elevator lobbies and hoistway opening protection) of the IBC of 2015. As such, the Department amended paragraph (a)(1) of Section 403.21 to add Section 3006 of the IBC of 2015. On November 3rd, the Pennsylvania Bulletin published an emergency certified regulation regarding smoke protection in elevator lobbies, and this regulation is temporarily effective as of that date. This regulation became permanent upon approval by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission on December 6, 2018.
Revised UCC Regulations
Chapter 11, Appendix E of the International Building Code of 2018 and any other accessibility requirements contained in the 2018 I-codes referenced by the Uniform Construction Code were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and became effective on June 15, 2019.
Pennsylvania Bulletin outlines the changes that will occur in the Regulations.
The Regulations will be updated to reflect these changes in approximately 60 days.