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The I-Codes: Building Resilient Health It’s no secret the building codes can help create resilient homes, offices, communities and nations, but they also can create more resilient minds and bodies. Every day, we are surrounded by examples of how the regulatory framework, administered by the International Codes (I-Codes), enhances and protects our physical and mental well-being. In recent years, architects and other design professionals increasingly have emphasized the importance of mental health and environmental psychology in design. Windows and natural lighting fixtures no longer are seen as merely aesthetic features in buildings. Architects and mental health professionals laud the emotional benefits of increased daylight inside our structures. According to a 2014 study from the National Institutes of Health, Impact of Windows and Daylight Exposure on Overall Health and Sleep Quality of Office Workers: A Case- Control Pilot Study, workers in windowless environments reported poorer scores related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer overall sleep quality. “Compared to the group without windows, workers with windows at the workplace had more light exposure during the workweek, a trend toward more physical activity, and longer sleep duration.” The 2012 International Building Code® (IBC) included dramatic increases in mandatory daylighting requirements from the 2009 edition. Moreover, the 2015 International Green Construction Code® (IgCC) requires a daylighting analysis for interior spaces, and that not less than 50 percent of the total floor area in regularly occupied commercial spaces be located within a day-lit area. Thus, the building codes are a key component in By Bryan J. Soukup, Esq., Director, Resilience Initiatives, International Code Council The I-Codes: Building Resilient Communities OCTOBER 2016 | 10


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