Important Changes to the PA Construction Code Act (Act 45) of 1999

Construction codes have been part of our society for thousands of years; and while the purpose of building codes have always been to ensure and maintain our safety, learning and staying current with the codes that affect our industry can be a daunting task. Regardless of how time consuming it may be, taking the time to follow and master the changes to Pennsylvania’s construction codes is vital as even a minor unintentional violation of a building code can bring your construction project to a screeching halt.

The Pennsylvania Construction Code Act (Act 45) of 1999, also referred to as the Uniform Construction Code (UCC), outlines the codes for commercial and residential construction in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Because Act 45 references and adopts many of the codes outlined in the International Code Series, which is produced by the International Code Council (ICC), PA’s Act 45 has been updated each time the ICC updates the International Code Series.

An amendment to Act 45, which became effective on December 31, 2009, adopted many of the changes to the International Building Codes that occurred in 2009, forcing code authorities, engineers, architects and owners to master these changes.  Some of these key changes affect the following codes:

  • The 2009 International Mechanical Code (IMC)
  • The 2009 International Plumbing Code (IPC)
  • The 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)

It is important to fully understand these changes as they can greatly affect how your project is designed and could affect how much your project will cost to build. Our experts will highlight some of these changes in more detail in our four-part e-Engineer series on these construction code changes. Stay tuned for our next e-Engineer, which will focus on the changes that have resulted in the 2009 International Mechanical Code (IMC).

For more information or questions about these changes, review the ECC on the International Code Council (ICC) website or contact Douglas C. Barnhart, PE at (717) 845-7654 or

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