The Building Code and the Post-Tensioned Institute (PTI) - Part 4

In the process of correcting the previously noted holes in the IBC related to having an exit ramp for the design of PT SOG foundations on stable soil, I put in a request to ICC for code interpretation related to my specific topic.  What I learned may be beneficial to more people on various code development related topics because I had no idea such information was available online from ICC.

You can find the history of code development cycles here:

Currently, the ICC has information dating back to the 2006/2007 cycle.

For my specific question related to stable soils and PT SOG, I was guided to the 2018/2019 cycle where there was information related to many proposed changes to the 2021 codes.  Those proposed changes were located in the Group B proposed changes to the 2018 edition of the codes.

Under this section of the webpage, I was then guided on to the IBC-S section (S for structural) which included a PDF of the proceedings.

From here, you can use the functionality of PDF’s to do word searches for your particular topic.  Main being stable soil, I did a word search for “Stable”.  At item 8 of 14 in the search, I came across S154-19 where two proponents attempted to correct the lack of guidance for PT SOG on stable soils.  The proposal was to create a new code section in Chapter 19.  Recall that Chapter 18, specifically 1808.6.2, under expansive soils is currently the only exit ramp to the DC10.5 document.  Section 1907 in the IBC contains the minimum slab provisions of the building code.  Section 1907 currently only contains one item.

The proponents suggested adding a new section after 1907.1 entitled “1907.2 Post-tensioned concrete slabs-on-ground.”  This new section would direct the scope of the building code for design of PT SOG to the DC10.5 document for both expansive and stable soils.

This is the first step in the process of getting code changes submitted for approval.  Everything was in place and it was up to the proponents to be present during the time that the committee heard the proposal.  The decision of the committee and the reasoning for the decision can be found on the same web page,

You click into the results of the report where it says, “Click here” which takes you to the PDF in the link above.  Using the S154-19 item from the proposed IBC Structural Changes as noted before, I again performed a search through the PDF.  I found the committee action was that the committee voted to disapprove the proposal unanimously 14-0.  However, looking more closely at the committee reason for the vote, the committee stated they “…could find sufficient justification to add the provision to the code and unfortunately the committee could not question the proponent (not present).”

For our debacle with PT SOG on stable soils, we nearly had the solution for an exit ramp within the code.  It is telling as to the ability of the committee to understand and see the need, but it is also telling that the committee will not blindly approve a code change if the original proponents are not present at the time of the decision.

If you have PT SOG on stable soils, then please know that you do have an exit ramp from the IRC in chapter 5.  It is only a matter of time until we have the proper exit ramp within the IBC.  We will be working to act as proponents through our own voices and hopefully through PTI DC10.5 committee action.  Please do not let baseless litigation take advantage of the lack of current IBC exit ramps.  This summary of previous action clearly shows their recognition of the issue and their agreement regarding a solution if only we speak up and show up. 

Our highway map will now look like this:


I learned from one of the original proponents of this change that it also encountered resistance from another lobby group that was present during public comment.  Very similar to politics, there are behind the scenes alliances that sometimes team up to thwart forward movement as well.  Allegedly, the resistance to the IBC language change for PT SOG on stable soils had to do with a lack of construction details.  However, these details exist in the DC10.5 document, so that shouldn't be a sticking point if properly explained.  The proponent believes that because of the IRC adoption, the IBC adoption may be easier than it was in the past.