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Building Codes

Reviewed 04/01/2022
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To find building codes, you may need to check at the local, state, and federal levels. The state building code sets the minimum standards for the state, but local governments can have more stringent standards. Federal standards may also apply in some situations. Many states, New Hampshire included, adopt "model codes" and then adapt them for their own use. That's why it's never enough just to read the model code. You must also look for any state or local amendments to the model code and read them together. 

The "New Hampshire building code" (or "state building code" or “building code of the state of New Hampshire”) is really several codes as adopted by the State of New Hampshire (RSA 155-A) and amended by administrative rule (Bcr 300). The "New Hampshire fire code" or "state fire code" is also several codes as adopted by the state of New Hampshire (RSA 153) and are amended by administrative rule (Saf-C 6000). As of September 2019, New Hampshire has adopted the 2015 versions of most of these codes. The exception is the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70. New Hampshire is now using the 2017 version of that code. 

There are many other codes: commercial building codes, historic structure codes, cultural resources codes, fuel gas codes, etc., that may have been adopted by a particular municipality so to be sure to check the town or city’s website. Start by looking for the code enforcement department or its equivalent. We’ve found it under various names: code enforcement, code administration, building department, or building inspection to name a few. Look for something along the lines of “current codes enforced.” For some towns, we had to look at the building permit application documents to figure out what codes those towns were enforcing. 

State Building Code Review Board

Online Resources About Building Codes

Print Resources About Building Codes