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New Hampshire State Building Code


The State of New Hampshire has adopted building codes which govern both residential and non-residential structures. The NH State Building Code uses the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) and the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) as base standards for the State codes for residential and non-residential structures, respectively. There are other code standards which govern non-structural areas of design, all of which can be found at the State of NH Building Code website. SENH suggests you consult your local building official to determine if your project is subject to the requirements of the NH State Building Code, or if that community has code requirements that exceed the minimum requirements of the NH State Building Code.

The 2009 IBC references ASCE 7-05, “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures”, for snow loads in the state. The majority of NH requires case studies to determine ground snow loads in a specific community. Case studies have been performed for all cities, towns and unincorprated townships in the state, and are available in the publication “Ground Snow Loads for New Hampshire”, US Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC/CRREL TR-02-6, February, 2002. The NH State Building Code Amendments now permit use of this document for determining ground snow loads in the state. There is a link to this publication on this website. SENH reminds those not familiar with how snow loads are used in design, that the ground snow load is only the starting point for determining the snow loads actually applied to a structure.

Not every community in New Hampshire has building code enforcement officials. This does not relieve the owner or design professional from meeting the requirements of the NH State Building Code in those communities without code enforcement. Not every community in NH enforces the requirements in IBC 2009, Chapter 17, for special inspections of structures. SENH suggests specifying the use of certified fabricators as a means to reduce the potential amount of special inspections required on a given project.

If you have questions about building codes or snow loads in NH, you can send SENH an email here, and someone from SENH will respond to you when they have time.

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Structural Engineers of New Hampshire

P.O. Box 226, Manchester, NH 03105-0226

Email: SENH

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