Building and Codes Department

Anderson County
Building and Codes Department
401 E. River Street, Anderson, SC 29624  (864) 260-4158  Fax (864) 260-4795
Adoption of the 2012 IRC
The South Carolina Building Codes Council has adopted the 2012 IRC (International Residential Code), which
goes into effect beginning July 1st, 2013. Any permits that were pulled prior to this date will still fall under the
2006 IRC. 2013 has been a year with a lot of changes taking place in regards to code adoption. The 2009
International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) went into effect on January 1st of this year. Now, we will be
working through changes to the 2012 IRC. We were able to co-host a 2 day seminar at Tri-County Tech in April
that outlined the changes to this code cycle.
We know the Home Builders Association(s) play a significant role in the adoption process of the codes. Various
State Modifications were made that reduces the impact of the 2012 IRC including the deletion of the
requirement of Sprinkler Systems in One and Two-Family Dwellings. A list of all the State Amendments will
be made available on our website. Also, there is currently a Bill in place (S348) that has been approved and
signed by the Governor that postpones the enforcement of section R501.3 Fire Protection of Floors. This
section was going to require you to “fire separate” a floor assembly located over crawlspaces and unfinished
basements that contained fuel-fired appliances or intended for storage with a minimum of ½” sheetrock. One of
the exceptions is if you use a minimum 2x10 dimension lumber or greater.
We have also updated our Residential Checklist for your use and will be made available on our website. There
are some changes which are highlighted that reflect changes out of the 2012 IRC. Note: The Residential
Checklist is not intended to include all the code changes in the 2012 IRC. It is impossible to develop a
complete list of all the changes without duplicating the adopted codes. We would suggest you purchase a copy
of the 2012 IRC to make sure you are up-to-date on all applicable changes.
We have also developed a “Significant Changes” list as noted below that we think will be helpful. There are a
few items that will have an immediate impact that you need to know. Again, this does not include all the
changes to the 2012 IRC.
1. Emergency egress required for all Habitable Attics. R310.1 Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings
– Basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency
escape and rescue opening. The IRC defines a habitable attic as being finished or unfinished and
complying with all of the following: a) Occupiable floor area is at least 70 sf in accordance with Section
R304. b) The floor area has a ceiling height in accordance with Section R305. c) The occupiable space is
enclosed by roof assembly above, knee walls (if applicable) and floor-ceiling assembly below.
Note: This is intended to address attic areas, finished or unfinished, with stair and/or man door access
to open spaces that can be turned into habitable areas. Just like a bedroom, at least one emergency
opening (Window) at least 5.7 sf net clear opening on the bottom sash.
Accredited by the
American Public
Works Association
Member of the Anderson County Public Works Division
2. AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters) are required in all circuits that supply 120 volt, single-phase, 15
and 20 amp outlets installed in all other rooms not listed to be GFCI protected. Reference Section
E3902.12 Arc-Fault circuit interrupter protection.
Note: All Other Rooms include: Family Rooms, Dining Rooms, Living Rooms, Parlors, Libraries, Dens,
Bedrooms, Sunrooms, Recreation Rooms, Closets, Hallways and similar rooms or areas.
3. Tamper resistant outlets are required in all 125 volt, 15 and 20 amp receptacles in areas specified in
E3902.12. Reference Section E4002.14.
4. A minimum of 2 grounding electrodes (Ground Rods) is now required and shall be spaced 6 feet apart or
more. Reference Section E3608.4 Supplemental electrode required.
5. Carbon monoxide detectors are now required. Reference Section R315 Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate
vicinity of the bedrooms in dwelling units that contain fuel-fired appliances and in dwelling units that
have attached garages.
6. Any glazing within 60 inches horizontally or vertically of a bathtub or shower is required to be
tempered. Reference Section R308.4.5 Glazing and wet surfaces.
7. Stair Treads and Risers. The maximum riser height is now 7 ¾” (Was 8 ¼”). Minimum Tread Depth is
10” (Was 9”). Reference Section R311.7.5.1 and R311.7.5.2. Also, see State Modification Number IRC
2012 07 – Maximum riser height for masonry stairs shall be 8”.
8. Handrail height for stairs has changed. Height, measured vertically from the sloped plane, shall not be
less than 34” (Was 30”) and not more than 38”. Reference Section R311.7.8.1 Height.
9. A drip edge is now required on eaves and gables of shingle roofs. Reference Section R905.2.8.5 Drip
Again, this is not an all-inclusive list of changes that have taken place in the 2012 IRC. Please contact our office
if you need further clarification.
Barry W. Holcombe, CBO
Building & Codes Manager
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