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
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 codes applicable to work for which a construction permit is sought on or after October 1, 2018, are the 2015 International Codes issued by the International Code Council (ICC), and the provisions amended by the UCC Review & Advisory Council (RAC). Only these codes as first published and their errata are applicable in Pennsylvania. For further information about the codes and standards adopted, click on the UCC Codes button.
Please note the following exceptions to the statement made above about the applicability of the 2015 ICC Codes:
Where a design or construction contract for proposed work was signed prior to October 1, 2018, a permit may be issued utilizing the 2009 International Codes, Chapter 11 and Appendix E of the 2015 International Building Code and the accessibility provisions of the 2015 International Existing Building Code provided the permit is applied for prior to March 31, 2019.
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.
The Pennsylvania Bulletin outlines the changes that will occur in the Regulations.
The Regulations will be updated to reflect these changes in approximately 60 days.