Code Updates

Code Updates

2011 Electrical Code Changes Went into Effect March 6, 2012

Builders are reminded that the 2011 electrical code changes became effective March 6, 2012. For more information, visit

Reminder on Acceptable Side Slant on Sidewalks

According to federal ADA requirements, the acceptable side slant on sidewalks is 1/4 inch per foot for all subdivisions. This requirement is being strictly enforced in Metro Louisville and could affect whether builders are granted certificates of occupancy.

New 2009 Energy Code Goes into Effect Oct. 2012

The new 2009 International Residential Code for one and two-family dwellings will go into effect October of this year. Among the changes, are the ways that heat supply lines are run on exterior walls on second floors. With the new code, there is an R-value requirement that prohibits heat supply lines to run on the outside of a 2 x 4 wall as has been previously installed in the Louisville market area. According to Lyons, the new code has many changes that builders will need to be aware of. In particular, he said that many two-story homes will now require two heating systems so builders need to be educated before they bid on a job to make sure the home they are building meets the new requirements. Also of note is a new fireplace code requirement that prohibits using foam insulation. Lyons advised builders and subcontractors to be aware of the new regulation on fire proofing fireplaces as well as insulating crawl spaces.

Builders currently have the option to build under the 2006 code, but beginning October 1, all houses are to be built under the 2009 code.

Potential Changes in Yellow Pine Lumber Grading

Builders should be aware of potential changes in the grading system of yellow pine lumber and are advised to consult the websites listed below to confirm whether any design value changes are being proposed. This is especially important if builders purchase the lumber in bulk and store it. HBAL lumber vendors are keeping abreast of the potential changes, however, builders are advised to be aware of how these changes could effect future projects.

HBAL members who have questions about the changes are encouraged to contact Paula Wahl, interim county engineer at 574-5810.

CSST Gas Piping

LG&E is now requiring CSST gas piping have a direct ground system implemented. The reason for this is the possibility of explosions associated with lighting strikes. Jeff Carlisle, Donahauer Plumbing, said his company is using black iron instead of CSST gas piping.

Fire Sprinkler Issue

For several years, the issue of installing fire sprinklers in residential homes has been on the table. According to Lyons, only two states in the U.S. currently require them (Maryland and Califorinia). However, he noted that HBAL is keeping abreast of this issue. There are some districts and developers in Metro Louisville who have voluntarily committed to installing sprinklers in homes. Some of those have chosen to do so because of location near possible flooding areas, which would prohibit dispatching fire engines in the event of a flood. Lyons emphasized, however, this is not a current state requirement. While the issue of safety is a concern for HBAL, it is widely believed within the building industry that the installation of fire sprinklers isn’t feasible for all areas, with many districts not having the ability to supply enough water to support it. In addition, Lyons added that property damage and cost are factors in the opposition of the issue.