Building and fire codes
2021 new building codes
Every three years the International Building Codes are updated. King County is currently enforcing the 2018 International Building Codes. The Washington State Building Code Council has completed rule making that adopts and modifies the 2021 International Building Codes. That group of codes includes the building, residential, fire, energy, mechanical, and other codes, and makes up the “State Building Code”.
The 2021 State Building Code will take effect on October 29, 2023. All new permit applications received on or after that date must comply with the 2021 State Building Code. All jurisdictions are required to enforce the state code as the minimum standard, so while King County Code (KCC 16 & 17) currently references the 2018 Building and Fire Codes, we will be enforcing the 2021 State building code as of October 29, 2023.
Residential Basics Program
The changes to the 2021 State Building Codes are significant enough for us to require new registered plans to confirm compliance. Based on past practice, we will begin accepting new registered plans based on the 2021 code in April 2023. The current approved registered plans based on the 2018 code will expire on October 29, 2023. During the transition period (April to July), basic permits may be issued for projects based on either the 2018 or 2021 registered plans.
Free online access to the 2021 codes is available on the International Code Council website external link . Washington State’s adoption of, and modification to, the building codes can be found on the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) website external link .
For more information about purchasing code books and future training, see the Washington Association of Building Officials website external link .
2018 new building codes
Starting February 1, 2021 the Washington State’s 2018 International Building Codes became effective. All permit applications received and deemed complete on or after that date shall comply with those codes. For information about future training and purchasing codebooks, see the Washington Association of Building Officials website external link .
International Building Codes
Washington State Building Codes
- Washington State Building Code Council external link
- Washington Association of Building Officials (WABO) external link
King County Code
If property owners are preparing to submit building plans for a residential building permit, you need to determine if there is a need to install an automatic fire sprinkler system. A separate permit is required before installing a sprinkler system.
Department of Local Services, Permitting Division
919 SW Grady Way, Suite 300
Renton, WA 98057
Most of our staff members are working remotely. Most permitting services are available on this website and MyBuildingPermit.com. Some in-person services are now available in our Renton office. For details, see our Customer Service Bulletin.
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Customer service: call 206-296-6600 during the following Call Center hours: 9-11 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.