International Code Council Building Safety Month

Awareness Activities Hosted by American Wood Council


During the month of May, the American Wood Council (AWC) will be celebrating the International Code Council's (ICC) Building Safety Month to raise awareness and help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. The campaign reinforces the need for adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.


Week 1 (May 1-5): Preparing for Disasters: Build Strong, Build Smart
To kick off Building Safety Month, AWC will be covering how to prepare for disasters by building smart and strong. AWC will highlight their reference standards which are state-of-the-art, ensuring wood construction meets the latest recommendations on design loads and gives designers the tools they need. In addition, AWC will be sharing information about our code-referenced consensus standards via social media and our website. You can follow the conversation on Twitter via #BuildingSafety365, #BuildingSafetyMonth, #BuildWithWood, #WoodBuildsOurWorld.
Week 2 (May 6-12): Ensuring a Safer Future Through Training and Education
As an ICC Preferred Provider, AWC will be sharing information about our educational materials and courses for wood design and construction best practices as well as construction fire safety practices during week two. You can follow the conversation on Twitter as well as LinkedIn via #BuildingSafety365, #BuildingSafetyMonth, #BuildWithWood, #WoodBuildsOurWorld.
Week 5 (May 27-31): Innovations in Building Safety
AWC will be highlighting the role of the ICC code development process and how it successfully paved the way for the acceptance of tall mass timber buildings. The TMT (Tall Mass Timber) code changes are a good example of how the ICC process can work to allow for the introduction of new technologies and building systems. AWC will be sharing content and informational resources, including an infographic and tall wood toolkit on how to effectively navigate the new code changes. You can follow the conversation via #BuildingSafety365, #BuildingSafetyMonth, #BuildWithWood, #WoodBuildsOurWorld.
Building Safety Month
Building Safety Month

AWC Applauds Denver’s Adoption of Tall Mass Timber Codes

Jan 06, 2020

LEESBURG, VA. – The City of Denver voted on December 23, 2019, to adopt the 2019 Denver Building Code, which includes the tall mass timber code provisions approved for the 2021 International Building Code (IBC).

As part of the adoption of the new code, there will be a four-month period where new projects can use either the 2016 Denver Building Code or the newly-adopted 2019 version. After four months, all building and fire code permits will be processed under the 2019 Denver Building Code.

“We congratulate the City of Denver on incorporating mass timber into its building codes, and recognizing the potential of this new category of wood products to revolutionize the way America builds,” said American Wood Council President & CEO Robert Glowinski. “Mass timber offers the strength of historic building materials with lower weight, and, in the rare event of a fire, has inherent fire resistance. Beyond the aesthetic qualities of mass timber that building owners and designers are seeking, wood is among the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly of all construction materials, storing carbon from the atmosphere for long periods of time.”

The adopted proposal to recognize mass timber in the new code was submitted by Dr. Gregory R. Kingsley on behalf of the Structural Engineers Association of Colorado. The American Wood Council provided technical assistance to the City in support of the proposal. The 2019 Denver Building Code will now recognize three new types of construction that also are included in the 2021 IBC:

  • Type IV-A – Maximum 18 stories, with gypsum wallboard on all mass timber elements.
  • Type IV-B – Maximum 12 stories, limited-area of exposed mass timber walls and ceilings allowed.
  • Type IV-C – Maximum 9 stories, all mass timber designed for a 2-hour fire resistance.

Fire tests conducted at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Fire Research Laboratory demonstrated that the fire performance requirements for these new tall mass timber construction types are conservative, and in most cases more conservative than the performance required in the current building code.

Find more information about tall mass timber buildings here: