Milestones in building code development
The building code of Hammurabi, King of the Babylonian Empire, is the earliest known code of law, written in 2200 B.C. Note that exact requirements for construction are not given; rather, the code assesses penalties if the building is not properly constructed. Listed below is the translated text from the Code of Hammurabi:
If a builder builds a house for a man and does not make its construction firm and the house which he has built collapses and causes the death of the owner of the house - that builder shall be put to death.
If it causes the death of the son of the owner of the house - they shall put to death the son of the builder.
If it causes the death of a slave of the owner of the house - he shall give to the owner of the house a slave of equal value.
If it destroys property he shall restore whatever it destroyed and because he did not make the house which he built firm and it collapsed, he shall rebuild the house which collapsed at his own expense.
Greek and Roman Times: Laws enacted to restrict construction types, roofing materials, size of buildings and density of land use, and lot coverage. Similar regulations were enacted in the Middle Ages especially in England.
Revolutionary Times: George Washington recommended that height and area limitations be restricted for wood frame buildings when planning the District of Columbia.
Latter part of 19th Century: The United States enacted the first set of building regulations because of widespread loss of property by fire.
1905: The first modern code laid the foundation for testing methodology, specifications and the formats today's codes use. The specific purpose was to reduce fire hazards, but it had a more general and humanitarian purpose: to protect the public health, safety and welfare. The National Board of Fire Underwriters (now the American Insurance Association) first published the National Building Code.
1915: Building Officials conference of America(BOCA) was established.
1927: Adoption of the Uniform Building Code, now the (ICBO).
1945: Publication of the Basic Building Code.
2000: Publication of the International Building Code by the International Code Council, Inc.
2003: Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) a Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) consolidated into one model code organization - The International Code Council (ICC).
Purpose of the codes