In October, the International Code Council announced that during its code conference in Nashville, the first code development changes directly resulting from Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and from the Rhode Island nightclub fire, moved closer to becoming code requirements.

Among changes proposed during the conference, two significant changes are related to Sept. 11 and the Rhode Island nightclub fire. In response to concerns about the fire-resistance rating of structural elements in high-rise buildings, ICC members approved a revision to the International Building Code that will require the structural system to be three-hour fire-resistance rated instead of the current two-hour requirement. This change could allow time for more people to escape or be rescued from a burning high-rise building.

In response to the Rhode Island fire, the International Fire Code Committee unanimously voted to require nightclubs and similar facilities with occupant levels exceeding 100 to install sprinkler systems. These and other code change proposals will be on the ICC's agenda for the final code development hearings for the 2006 international code.