October 6, 2021 - 12:00pm

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Understanding the IBC's Tall Wood Building Code Provisions

with Warren D. Bonisch, P.E.of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

In December 2018, the International Code Council announced that 14 code change proposals related to expanding the allowable heights and areas of mass timber buildings had been approved by its voting members. These new code provisions, which are now part of the 2021 International Building Code (IBC), create three new construction types and allow tall timber buildings up to 18 stories. This presentation will provide an overview of the new code provisions, including allowable heights and areas, fire-resistance ratings, allowances for exposing the timber structure and/or encapsulating with non-combustible materials, options for utilizing concealed spaces and more.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the market drivers for tall mass timber buildings
  2. Understand the different types of mass timber construction in the 2021 edition of the IBC
  3. Understand how fire tests helped determine the proposed types of construction
  4. Understand the fire safety issues related to the requirements for mass timber buidlings in the new IBC.


While we are still practicing social distancing due to the pandemic, all meetings will be virtual, conducted via Zoom. To receive reminders, please sign up for the BEC Committee mailings in the footer of our website.

BEC: Austin is an interdisciplinary organization that promotes the exchange of information on building enclosures and related science specific to the climate of Central Texas.

Interdisciplinary:  architects, engineers, contractors, building owners, consultants, facility managers, code officials, educators, manufacturers, and those with a stake in building enclosure performance

Exchange of information:  discussion, training, education, outreach, and awareness

Building enclosures and related science:  energy-efficiency, moisture control, indoor air quality, longevity, and durability

BEC: Austin typically meets the first Wednesday of each month from 12-1pm.
2021 BEC: Austin Committee
Chair: Andrea Hellerman, AIA
Chair-Elect: George Wilcox, AIA
AIA Austin staff liaison: Julia Brown