Jefferson City's new building codes officially took effect Saturday.
The city adopted the 2015 versions of the International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical and Fuel Gas Codes, International Existing Building Codes, International Building and Residential Codes, International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, and International Property Maintenance Code. It also adopted the 2014 version of the National Electric Code.
Most of the updates will fill in holes in the current code. But one major change calls for installation of fire sprinklers in apartment complexes with more than three units. Previously, city code mandated developers install fire sprinklers in new apartment buildings containing 10 or more units.
A volunteer committee included contractors, designers, city planners and other business leaders that held more than 80 meetings designing the new codes. The Jefferson City Council adopted the codes in August, and they took effect this weekend after a two-month grace period.
Along with changes to the sprinkler provision, commercial buildings will have to construct tornado shelters that can withstand EF-4 tornadoes and 200-mph winds. Previous code required commercial buildings be constructed with storm shelters that can withstand EF-5 tornadoes and 250 mph winds.