Building Loading - Building Code

(Revised:  11/15/2016)

The Building Code tab describes the appropriate Building Code and the general purpose of occupancy.  The Building Code selected will be used to define the application of the design loads to all of the Shapes.

  Note to Builder/Customer:

The builder is responsible for contacting the local building official or project design professional to obtain and provide all code and loading information for the specific building site.  Data supplied is assumed to be accurate and is not verified.


List Filter:

North America – Current codes to be used in North America.

International – Current codes to be used outside North America.

Legacy – Outdated codes that have a newer version most likely to be specified.

Code Information:


Building Code

  This drop list is used to specify the Building Code for the building.  Information input at this level will be applied to all shapes within a project file.  If the correct Building Code is not known, contact the local code officials or local code department.  This information is critical for the design of the building.


   Examples of model building codes are shown below.  Other state or country codes can be selected through the List Filter shown above.

ANSI       American National Standards Institute, National Standard

ASCE     American Society of Civil Engineers

BOCA    Building Officials and Code Administrators (National Building Code)

IBC         International Building Code

MBMA    Metal Building Manufacturers Association, Industrial Standards

NBCC    National Building Code of Canada

SBC       Standard Building Code, of the Southern Building Code Congress

UBC       Uniform Building Code, of the International Congress of Building Officials


Depending on the Building Code selected, options on the other Design Loads and Codes tabs will be enabled or disabled as required by the Code.

Building Use / Importance / Risk Category

This drop list is used to describe the general purpose of the building.  The 'Building Use' can differ per shape to optimize the design of different portions of the building.  The options vary depending on the Building Code.


The Building Use can be defined differently on specific shapes of a multi-shape project.  This could be an economical feature if used to its fullest potential.

Example:  With some building codes, the Office could be considered Standard Occupancy and the Warehouse could be considered Low Hazard.


Building Use Descriptions:

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   1986 MBMA

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   1988 UBC, 1991 UBC, MUBC, LLB, PHX, SEA

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   ANSI, BOCA, SBC, 1988 ASCE, MAST (5th), MAST (6th), MAST (7th), NCST, NYST, OBBC, WICBC, CHI, MSY, OKC, SFL, JBSA, 1993 ASCE, CONN, IBC 2000, 2001 FL, 2001 FL (HVHZ)

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   1990 NBCC, 1995 NBCC, 2005 NBCC, 2010 NBCC, 2015 NBCC

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   1994 UBC, 1997 UBC

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   ASCE 7-95, ASCE 7-98, 1999 BOCA

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   2003 - 2009 IBC, ASCE 7-02, ASCE 7-05, MAST (8th), 2014 WICBC

%!JumpId(IDC_CODES_USE_1)   2012 IBC, 2015 IBC, ASCE 7-10, 2015 MNBC, 2014 FL–HVHZ (5th)



From this drop list, select the Steel Design Specification that applies for the building project.  This will apply to primary members such as 3-plate columns, rafters, and mezzanine beams.   VP Builders are locked out of this field.


2005 AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction, 13th Edition) is required when designing for 2006 IBC and 2009 IBC.

2010 AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction, 14th Edition) is required when designing for 2012 IBC and 2015 IBC.

S16-2014 is used when designing for 1995 NBCC, 2005 NBCC, 2010 NBCC and 2015 NBCC.

Most other Codes use 89AISC 9th Edition.

Cold Form

From this drop list, select the “Rolled Gage Section - Steel Design Specification” that applies for your building.  This will apply to secondary members such as girts, purlins, jambs and headers.   VP Builders are locked out of this field.


The software will automatically use the most current version of the Cold Form specification (AISI - American Iron and Steel Institute) for designing gage members based on the Building Code being used.



In this edit box, enter the Rainfall intensity measured in inches per hour.  This is based on 5-minute duration, with a 5-year recurrence (MBMA I1 Rainfall Intensity).  The Rainfall Intensity is used to determine how many downspouts are required for the building configuration.  The check is done in accordance with MBMA Appendix A4, with a standard 4”x5” downspout and a 7”x7” eave gutter.  For other configurations of gutter and downspouts, manual calculations are necessary to determine the proper number of downspouts required.

  Note:  Canada specifies rain fall in terms of mm/15-minutes with a 10 year MRI.  This needs to be converted to inches/hour for software input.

Building Code Alias (Optional)

In this edit box, enter the full name of the Building Code you wish to show on all Reports.

Example:  Ohio has accepted the 2011 International Building Code, but the official building code title/alias is “2011 Ohio

     Building Code”. This Building Code Alias then shows in the Reports.


Alias Code

This edit box has been disabled.

Perform Second-Order Analysis

This option affects how frames and bracing are analyzed and must be used for 2006 IBC and later projects.  Beginning with 2006 IBC (and the 2005 AISC Specification), primary framing (frames and bracing) is required to be designed for Second-Order effects.  Any frame subjected to lateral deflection or drift experiences P-Delta (P-∆) effects; that is, gravity loads on the deflected columns WILL cause additional movement of the frame being analyzed.  The net result is that slightly larger forces will be generated in the frame.  VP Builders are locked out of this field.



The older steel specification, 1989 AISC, accounted for Second Order behavior by conservatively adjusting various design parameters during design of frame members.  2005 AISC and later more correctly accounts for the Second-Order behavior during the analysis phase and NOT during the designing phase.

Concrete Compression Strength

In this edit box, enter the concrete compressive strength to be used under the column base plates (3000.00 psi is default).  The minimum value that will be accepted in the edit box is 2000.00 psi.


Two approaches when designing structural members are allowed, beginning with 2006 IBC (2005 AISC); ASD (Allowable Stress Design) and LRFD (Load and Resistance Factor Design).  The system default is ASD design; however, LRFD may be activated by checking the “Use LRFD” box.

While the system default is ASD, either option may be used when attempting to generate the most cost effective design for a given project.  A rule of thumb is that the LRFD option is more likely to produce lighter frames when the Dead (or CG) to Live load ratios are higher.


Canadian codes use Limits State Design (LSD) design procedure.  LRFD is not an option with the Canadian codes.


Standard Controls:

§ OK, Cancel, Apply, Help


See also:

§ Building Loading - Live Load

§ Building Loading - Wind Load

§ Building Loading - Snow Load

§ Building Loading - Seismic

§ Building Loading - Deflection Conditions