Introduction to the 2015 and 2018 International Building Code (IBC)

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Course Overview

This course is a must for professionals who plan, design, review, or inspect buildings to ensure public health and safety. Learn and understand essential code requirements, facilitate code compliance, and reduce costly project revisions.

Who Should Attend?

This course will benefit new users of the IBC, as well as experienced professionals seeking reinforcement, or interested in an update on the new changes. This includes:

  • Plan reviewers and code officials 
  • Architects and related professionals 
  • Engineers and technicians 
  • Consultants and planners

Course Outline

Code Application

  • Scope and intent
  • Alternate methods and materials
  • Existing buildings

Building Classification

  • Occupancy classification
  • Type of construction

Automatic Sprinkler Systems

  • Fire areas
  • Where sprinklers are required
  • Sprinkler trade-offs

Building Location on Lot

  • Exterior wall ratings
  • Buildings on the same lot
  • Openings in exterior walls

Allowable Building Size

  • Allowable building height
  • Mezzanines
  • Allowable building area
  • Unlimited area buildings
  • Mixed occupancies

Fire and Smoke Protection Features

  • Fire-resistance ratings
  • Fire resistance-rated wall assemblies
  • Penetrations
  • Opening protectives
  • Fire and smoke dampers

Fire Protection Systems

  • Standpipe systems
  • Fire alarm systems

Interior Finishes

  • Walls and ceiling finishes
  • Floor finishes

Means of Egress

  • General egress components
  • Occupant load determination
  • Egress width
  • Accessible means of egress
  • Doors and stairways
  • Exit signs
  • Handrails and guardrails
  • Number and location of exits
  • Corridors
  • Horizontal exits
  • Exit discharge

Special Use Features

  • Stages and platforms
  • Hazardous materials

Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Interior environment
  • Safety glazing


  • Effective Use and Application of the IBC
  • Special Detailed Occupancy Requirements
  • Significant Changes in the 2018 IBC


"Provided thorough information regarding updates to 2015 and future updates for 2018 that are relevant."
Derrick C., Legend Architecture LLC, Hayward WI (May 2017)

"Very informative & great refresher on how to navigate IBC. The select 2018 changes were also easy-to-follow & insightful...Material & handouts were easy-to-follow. Douglas was engaging & kept things interesting. Overall, great course!"
Neha, Burnham Nationwide, Chicago IL (May 2018)

"This was the best code seminar I’ve ever attended in 32 years."
Vince M., Bucacek Construction, Racine WI (May 2017)

"Doug is an amazing presenter, great charisma, makes time for questions. The guy is a machine!! 2 days presenting without a miss, unreal!"
Kyle, HGA Architects and Engineers, Port Washington WI (May 2018) 

"Mr. Thornburg is very personable and articulate, and presented many stories and illustrations to make his points."
John S., Erdman Co., Madison WI (May 2016)

"Great course. Good application of why items are in the code and examples on projects."
Michael R., IIW P.C., Dubuque IA (May 2016)

"Doug is extremely well versed in the code. I especially enjoy the history of sections of the code or reasons why the committee made a certain decision."
Sean, CBRE Heery, Burlington MA (May 2018)

"A lot of good information on understanding how the code was developed and why, which helps interpret the code...Not only learned about the code but also confirmed we are applying the code properly." 
Steven, Studio K Architecture, Princeton IL (May 2018)


Mark Malkin

Mark P. Malkin, PE is a Program Director in the UW-Madison Department of Engineering Professional Development (EPD). He is a registered Professional Engineer with over 25 years of combined experience in university construction project management and HVAC systems design. His course offerings in the Facilities segment of EPD include HVAC and plumbing fundamentals, building and property maintenance code review, and design and operation of science labs, data centers, museums and libraries. Mark received his bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and his master’s in Mechanical Engineering from UW-Madison.

Doug Thornburg

Douglas W. Thornburg, AIA, CBO, is currently Vice-President and Technical Director of Products and Services for the International Code Council (ICC) where he provides administrative and technical leadership for the ICC product development activities. Prior to employment with ICC in 2004, he was in private practice as a code consultant and educator on building codes for nine years. Doug also spent ten years with the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) where he served as Vice-President/Education.

In his current role, Doug also continues to create and present building code seminars nationally and has developed numerous educational texts and resource materials. He was presented with ICC’s inaugural Educator of the Year Award in 2008, recognizing his outstanding contributions in education and training.

A graduate of Kansas State University and a registered architect, Doug has over 36 years of experience in building code training and administration. He has authored a variety of code-related support publications, including the IBC Illustrated Handbook and the Significant Changes to the International Building Code.

Upcoming dates (2)

May 3-4, 2021

Madison, WI
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Nov. 15-16, 2021

Madison, WI
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Program Director

Mark Malkin


Create a custom learning experience

We can deliver this course as an on-site learning experience tailored to your organization’s specific training needs.