Austin's adopted codes: explained!

What are these new codes that the City of Austin has adopted? Is Austin’s version different from other cities? Do we need to change how we design buildings?     For our October committee meeting we hosted several key plan review and inspection officials from the City of Austin- Jose Roig, J.B. Meier, Ron Menard, Carl Wren, and Joe Limon. They presented slides, videos, and handouts to shine some light on where the building and fire codes have changed this month.     I will mention a few items here, and link to the full powerpoint presentations.     [Building code:] High rise exit codes (number of stairs and elevators, and separation distance have changed). // Bars and restaurants over 100 people are now to be sprinklered. // Roofs that support occupied roof decks are now required to be fire rated. // Guard rails, where required, now use 4” sphere regardless of height. // Ambulatory facilities (day surgery centers) now require sprinklers in most cases. // Residential dead-end corridor and common path of travel distance increased if sprinklered. // Building code powerpoint   [Fire code:] Carl Wren is involved in the IFC code technology committee, and shared some of the science and testing behind the recent code changes. Improvements were also made based on the findings of the 9/11 commission, and local amendments have been informed in part by the Echelon disaster.  Carl has joined us before, but this time he brought videos and we got to watch stuff burn. A twin mattress (synthetics) has over 1 megawatt of heat energy waiting to be released in a fire, and an office workstation has 6.6 megawatts of energy. Do not try this at home. Fire code link here ___________   Thanks to all the City officials that spent a two hour lunchbreak teaching us about the new codes, to Gary Devin for organizing the event, and thanks to Sally Fly and the AIA staff for hosting our record turnout of 60 people!