TEXT IN RED is a LINK. u Electrical Code Adopted u State Shutdown Pending u Q&A: Rim Joist Insulation u New Building Officials u Web and Resource Info u E-mail Request and Survey


On July 1, 2005, the 2005 National Electrical Code will become effective for Minnesota. The Code was again adopted without amendment. The Rule adopting this Code can be found in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 1315. Because Chapter 1315 is only one page it is attached to the end of this newsletter. The Minnesota State Building Code pdf has also been updated on our website: www.buildingcodes. Click on Minnesota State Building Codes - upper left tab.

Electrical Code Updates
2005 Electrical Code Changes Will Affect Foundations Containing Steel Reinforcement. The 2005 National Electrical Code is expected to be adopted and effective July 1, 2005. Among the changes will be a new requirement for steel reinforcing which if present in the footing/foundation must be used as the grounding electrode for the building. The reason for the change in the National Electrical Code has come about because of the increased use of water service non-metallic piping and isolation fittings. Underground water piping systems have become less reliable as a grounding electrode; therefore the code was changed to require a concrete-encased electrode to be used where it is present.

State Shutdown Information
An e-mail will be sent to customers if a shutdown is announced. In the event of a shutdown, some Building Codes and Standards functions have been deemed critical and will remain in operation. General information regarding the shutdown is posted at: shutdown/Default.htm

This new requirement in the electrical code does not require reinforcing steel to be placed in the footing, but if it is installed it must be bonded together to form the grounding electrode. Compliance with this new requirement will rest with the building contractor, who will need to coordinate with the electrical and masonry The links to the contractors who will be performing the work. Revisor’s chapters will While the enforcement of this provision is left up to be linked as soon as the electrical inspector, the local building officials, they are available. plan reviewers, and building inspectors can help by The 2005 NEC is sold by a making contractors aware of the requirement. Building number of inspectors and plan reviewers are not expected to resources inspect for a proper ground connector but when steel including: reinforcing is installed in the footings, a reminder to the u Minnesota’s Bookstore builder or masonry contractor of the requirement will (map to store) u National Fire Protection go a long way to assure a smooth transition to the new
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Volunteers are still needed for the Education Building. Please contact Kelly Denno at (651)296-1189.

State Fair

408 METRO SQUARE BUILDING 121 7TH PLACE EAST • ST. PAUL MN 55101 (651) 296-4639 • FAX: (651) 297-1973 • TTY: 1-800-627-3529



Electrical Code Updates continued from page 1
code requirement for the builder and provides for good customer service. One issue that has been raised is exposure of the steel ground rod to earth and the potential for corrosion affecting the structural steel in the footing. The IRC/IBC covers structural steel within footings and walls. The concrete cover where required is typically required for structural considerations except where salt or other corrosive environments exist. Careful layout and design should eliminate these concerns. The ground rod would typically be run to the inside of the building and either through the concrete floor or into the wall and project out. This steel projection in most circumstances can be run without being in contact with earth. If in the layout contact with earth is absolutely necessary using a #4 AWG copper wire with a clamp suitable for concrete encasement, such as a common ground rod clamp could be used as the method to extend out from the footing. A single copper wire projecting from the foundation and in contact with earth does not pose a structural problem for the foundation. The following description of the code provision comes from the Minnesota State Board of Electricity. Concrete-Encased Electrode. Sections 250.50 and 250.52 (A)(3) [of the NEC 2005]. A change in section 250.50 now requires all grounding electrodes described in section 250.52(A)(1) through (6) that are present at each building or structure to be bonded together to form the premises grounding electrode system. Section 250.52(A)(3) defines a concrete-encased electrode, commonly referred to as a “ufer” ground, as consisting of at least 20 feet of 1⁄2 inch (minimum) steel reinforcing rod, or 20 feet of #4 AWG bare copper, located near the bottom of a foundation or footing and encased by at least 2 inches of concrete. Due to the increased use of nonmetallic piping and isolation fittings, underground water piping systems have become less reliable as a grounding electrode, therefore the code has been changed to require a concrete-encased electrode to be used where it is present. This change will require increased cooperation between electrical contractors, builders, and concrete and masonry contractors. Any of the following methods are acceptable for complying with this new requirement. 1. Encase at least 20 feet of #4 AWG bare copper conductor in the concrete footing; 2. Connect a length of #4 AWG copper to the reinforcing steel with a clamp suitable for concrete encasement, such as a common ground rod clamp, or, 3. Stub a piece of reinforcing rod out of the footing at a convenient location. Reinforcing rods shall be permitted to be bonded together by the usual steel tie wires or other effective means.

Congratulations to the state’s recently designated municipal Building Officials:


• Robert A. Tschida — City of Kettle River • Jeff D. Fagerstrom — City of Red Lake Falls • Darin Haslip — City of Truman

Larry Johnson Building Code Representative Manufactured Structures Bruce Borgschatz Elevator Inspector Elevator Safety Section Scott McKown Building Code Representative Plan Review

Staff Upadates

u Chapter 1315, Electrical Code updates. (see page 1 and 2).
For our local government customers....

Web-Site Updates

u Speciality Servies Local Government Services/Reports/Forms
Revenue and Expense Annual Reports The Report is now posted as a Word interactive form that you can fill out on-line, save, and return via e-mail. Microsoft Word and Outlook must be installed on your computer to use the interactive option. You can also print, fill out, and fax in your form as before.

Resource Tip: The Anoka County Library owns the major components of the State Building Code in their reference collection including model and state codes, state amendments and related sources including indexes and commentaries. Most are reference copies and have to be used at the library. The complete collection is only at the Northtown Library. They will provide limited copying, faxing/mailing or limited scanning and e-mailing of documents. Contact Jim Hendricks at 763-717-3267 x 357 or at us for more information. Northtown Library: 711 Cty Rd 10 NE, Blaine, 763-717-3267.


Q: I recently bought a brand new home. The rim joist of the home is not insulated. They told me that “insula board” was used but, I don’t see evidence of this. To compound my suspicions a new house was built next door by the same builder and the rim joist has been sprayed with a foam. Is this right? Should my rim joist be insulated? A: The State of Minnesota Energy Code prescribes how much insulation goes into a house. The amount of insulation (or R value) for the rim area depends on the energy calculations that were performed for that house (these should be on file at the local building inspector’s office). The R value of the insulation in the rim area is not a set amount, it is determined based on how the rest of the house performs. It might be as low as an R value of 5, or as high as R 19. The location of the rim insulation can be on the outside of the rim area, or on the inside of the rim area. It gets down to the choice of the designer/builder. If the insulation is placed on the inside of the rim area, to where you could actually see it from the inside of the basement, it will also require a vapor retarder and it will need to be sealed. Some builders will use fiberglass insulation on the inside, with a poly vapor barrier on the warm side of the insulation, and then they will seal it airtight. Some builders choose to use spray-applied foam insulation products because of the ease of installation of the product, and most spray-applied foam products provide a very good air seal. Some will also work as vapor retarders, and some can remain in place without “thermal protection “ (15 minute fire barrier). The cost of the installation will also be a deciding factor for some. Some builders choose to insulate on the outside of the rim area. Most will use a rigid foam insulation product, then cover over it with their exterior wall sheathing/siding product. If the insulation is installed on the exterior side, you will not be able to see it from the inside, and you probably wouldn’t see it from the outside unless you visited the house prior to the siding being installed. The reason that somebody would install it on the outside of the rim area instead of the inside of the rim area is that it is certainly easier to install. Some scientists suggest that exterior foam products work better than interior foam products, but the building code accepts both. Some builders install it on the outside because they don’t have to worry about the issues with interior vapor retarders and thermal barriers. Some builders like to insulate on the exterior of the rim area because they feel that the exposed rim area on the inside is better ventilated to the inside air, thus possibly helping to eliminate moisture issues in the rim area. If a rim area is insulated on the exterior, usually that means that the interior wood rim area will be exposed to the inside of the basement. That’s ok. Many scientists have suggested that if your exterior is insulated with a foam product, that you should avoid installing any additional insulation on the inside, such as fiberglass insulation, because it might be possible for moisture to occur between a lower R value insulation product, and the higher R value foam insulation product. In other words, if your house has exterior foam insulation at the rim area, resist the urge to install any more insulation in the rim area. On a personal note, my house has exterior foam at the rim area, and exposed wood rim joist material on the inside. The rim area is dry, and stays at room temperature. I like that. Peter Kulczyk,


If you have a question, send it to

Congratulations to the state’s recently designated municipal Building Officials:


Thank you for your cooperation and support of e-mail distribution. Keep spreading the word and sending us e-mail address changes: (Please include a phone number so we can reach you if we receive a bounce back from your e-mail address.)

E-Mail Addresses

• Pamela Swanson — Ada • Nancy J. Scott — Holdingford • Daniel J. Hennessey — Little Falls

Fall Seminar

FALL SEMINAR INFORMATION WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON Help us get the word out. Encourage your colleagues to send us their e-mail address and phone number to ensure they receive special notices regarding the seminars. Send e-mail address changes to:
(Please include a phone number so we can reach you if we receive a bounce back from your e-mail address.)


1315.0200 SCOPE. Subpart 1. Electrical code. All new electrical wiring, apparatus, and equipment for electric light, heat, power, technology circuits and systems, and alarm and communication systems must comply with the regulations contained in the 2005 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC) as approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI/NFPA 70-2002), Minnesota Statutes, section 326.243, and the Minnesota State Building Code as adopted by the commissioner of administration. The 2005 edition of the National Electrical Code, developed and published by the National Fire Protection Association, Inc., is incorporated by reference and made part of the Minnesota State Building Code. The National Electrical Code is not subject to frequent change and is available in the office of the commissioner of administration, from the Minnesota Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, Saint Paul, MN 55155, through public libraries, from major bookstores and other retail sources, or from National Fire Protection Association, Inc., One Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 021697471. EFFECTIVE DATE: These rules are effective July 1, 2005


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Department of Labor and Industry - Building Codes and Standards
408 Metro Square Building, 121 East 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 55101-2181 Direct: (651) 296-4639 Fax: (651) 297-1973 TTY: 1-800-627-3529




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Future Location of Building Codes:

Department of Labor and Industry
443 Lafayette Road N. St. Paul, MN 55155 Phone (651) 284-5000


Current Location: Building Codes
408 Metro Square 121 East 7th Place St. Paul, MN 55155 Phone (651) 296-4639