Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2005
Wisconsin Commercial Building Code Improves

Under the state statutes, the Department of Commerce Division of Safety and Buildings protects public health, safety, and welfare by promulgating comprehensive construction requirements for public buildings and places of employment. These requirements are primarily contained in chapters Comm 61 to 65, which is the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code. The current version of this Code became effective on July 1, 2002.

Subsequent to adoption of the 2002 version, numerous improvements have occurred in several of the nationally recognized standards that are incorporated by reference into this Code, particularly the building code requirements developed by the International Code Council®.

These rules, which became effective January 1, 2005, update chapters Comm 61 to 65 to reflect many of these improvements, codify several interim approvals the Department has issued for alternate design methods and standards, and accommodate various other clarifications that are expected to somewhat simplify compliance with this comprehensive code. The rules also expand when fire protection systems must receive plan approval from the Department or an agent to include systems for residential occupancies containing more than two dwelling units, where the occupants are primarily permanent in nature.

These rule changes have been developed with input from the Department's Commercial Building Code Council and the Multifamily Dwelling Code Council. In all, the Miscellaneous Update and Fix Up package referred to as "MUFU" involved revisions to 157 sections.

Copies of the package are available on the Department of Commerce Safety and Buildings website. Those individuals who purchased the "Enrolled Wisconsin Commercial Building Code", which combined the four adopted model codes with Wisconsin amendments into one document can expect updated pages to be available in February. For more information specific to the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code along with the latest rule changes please contact Jim Smith at 608-266-0251 or Jim Quast at 608-266-9292.

- Henry Kosarzycki, A.I.A.

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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