Changes to Pennsylvania UCC Code: The Overview

The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC) first began being enforced in April 2004. Fourteen years later, Act 35 of 2017 updated the code requirements to the 2015 International Codes. Application of this new standard began for all projects without a signed construction contract on October 1, 2018. The grace period for permit application for projects with a signed construction contract extended to March 31, 2019.

This change ushered in many changes from the previously adopted 2009 version of the Codes, some with the 2012 version and some with the 2015 version. In fact, some items were added in 2012 and subsequently removed in 2015. This is an indication of the fluidity that is present in our industry. With new construction methods, materials and technologies, designers, contractors, and code authorities alike must adapt.

Only time will tell which of the major and minor changes adopted will take hold and become the new standard, and which ones will be omitted in the future versions. However, now that all projects moving forward will have to comply with this new standard, there are several major changes in mechanical, plumbing, electrical and fire protection that not only effect the design but can have significant effects on the bottom line. Understanding how to best navigate these changes while not succumbing to the latest trends is paramount in providing the lowest total cost of ownership to our clients.

Barton experts will be highlighting what clients can come to expect with the 2015 code changes, from lighting controls and mechanical insulation changes to plumbing efficiencies and commissioning requirements over the next few months. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Stephen E. Oskin, PE, LEED AP at (814) 237-2180 or