ICC Incorporates Shipping Containers in 2021 Building Code

Rendering of a hypothetical shipping container building.

AUSTIN TX, Feb 20, 2019 – With an overwhelming 97% yes vote, the International Code Council (ICC) membership officially ratified a change to the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) that would allow ISO shipping containers to be used in commercial construction. The addition to Chapter 31 of the IBC — the chapter on special construction — will spell out what code officials should look for in container construction to confirm structural safety. Representatives from the shipping container building industry and code officials will also introduce more clarity into the IBC on the safe use of shipping containers by releasing a corresponding set of guidelines that explain the new shipping container building codes.

"This vote is a major victory for both code officials and the container-based structures industry," said Stephen Shang, Falcon Structures CEO, industry ambassador and co-chair of the ICC’s Container Industry Task Force.

A 97% yes vote is uncommon in ICC’s final action hearings. Shang and Tom Hardiman, MBI Executive Director, credit the enormous support to code officials’ near universal desire to implement the guidelines. Not long ago, code officials were required to go through the cumbersome alternative mean and methods provision to approve containers in construction. As more and more developers look to shipping container construction, code officials and building professionals have been seeking a streamlined process.

The new change in tandem with container acceptance criteria (AC462) and the ICC’s guidelines for container use, will dramatically mitigate the headache around approving shipping container structures.

“Once states adopt the 2021 IBC we expect to see an uptick in this type of construction activity,” said Hardiman.

Falcon Structures, a provider of AC462 compliant shipping containers, has already seen growing interest in container buildings thanks to the ongoing collaboration between the ICC and the MBI’s Container Task Force. Shang anticipates the momentum will only continue to grow now that the 2021 IBC will formally sanction the use of containers.

“Incorporation into the building code ushers in a new era for repurposing shipping containers and demonstrates the win-win that happens when code officials and industry leaders work together,” said Shang.




Media Contact:

Krista Short
VP of Marketing
Falcon Structures

About Falcon Structures

Founded in 2003, Falcon Structures repurposes steel shipping containers into AC462 code-compliant modules for container-based buildings, as well as single container structures for living, working and storage. Falcon has manufactured container buildings of all sizes including the largest shipping container structure to date, the 122-container stadium, Fortress Obetz. Falcon’s growing client base includes major energy corporations such as Energy Transfer and Duke Energy, defense contractors, construction firms, and all branches of the US military.


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