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January 2004

NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code:


Building Safety and Environmental Responsibility
Commitment to the environment: Recognizing a need to protect the environment while maintaining
public safety, NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code was developed with a commitment
to occupant health and environmental responsibility. NFPA 5000 includes integrated provisions for
performance-based design options, a stepped approach to the rehabilitative use of existing buildings,
and allowances for the use of alternate materials and methods of construction. Because of its content,
NFPAs model code provides jurisdictions with the flexibility needed to foster innovative approaches to
safely build environmentally friendly structures using sustainable construction materials.
Energy efficiency: Chapter 4 of the Building Construction and Safety Code sets goals for energy
efficiency in building design, construction, and operation, which are met through the prescriptive energy
conservation requirements. It protects public welfare and promotes occupant health, ensuring that
buildings are consistent with the reasonable expectations for energy efficiency, cultural heritage
preservation, mission continuity, and environment.
Performance-based design options: Chapter 5 of NFPAs model code details the performancebased design options provided in the code, allowing easy use of alternate designs, materials, and
methods of construction. This fosters sustainable or green construction. Performance-based design
options allow design professionals, builders, code enforcers, and others in the field of construction to
use innovative, environmentally responsible construction, with public safety in mind.
Building rehabilitation: Chapter 15 of the Building Construction and Safety Code encourages
building rejuvenation and the continued use or re-use of existing buildings. This model building code
allows design professionals, builders, code enforcers, and others to more readily understand and
implement the entire spectrum of potential rehabilitation work, from repairs to reconstruction in every
type of building, even historic structures. The enhanced efficiency of this process likely will reduce the
delays typically associated with rehabilitation. The code allows developers to accurately anticipate the
type of rehabilitation necessary in order to meet the requirements of the code. As the first model code
to incorporate a realistic, stepped approach to regulating the rehabilitation of existing buildings, NFPA
5000 will help communities preserve the past and safely rejuvenate existing structures. As a result, the
rehabilitation provisions within the building code in Chapter 15 may help to reduce the amount of
building materials wasted in unnecessary demolitions of older buildings.
Developed through consensus: NFPA 5000 is the first and only building code developed through a
consensus process accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the administrator
and coordinator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system. NFPA and its
partners, including the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO);
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the
Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), have developed C3, the Comprehensive Consensus Codes
set. C3 is the only full set of integrated consensus-based codes and standards that covers the built
environment. The codes affect virtually every building, process, service, design, and installation in
society today. NFPA 5000 is an integral element of the set. For online information about the C3 set, log
onto www.c3codeset.org.