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TABLE 504.3-2021
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Note: Referenced footnotes can be viewed in the IBC code. Use the link above to review.

Please refer to the latest edition of the International Building Code (IBC) and any local building codes adopted in your area to ensure compliance with current requirements and building regulations.

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Used For

The International Building Code (IBC) Table 504.3 is typically used for determining the allowable height and area of buildings and structures based on their occupancy classification and construction type. It provides guidelines for architects, engineers, and building code officials to ensure that buildings are constructed safely and in compliance with local building codes.


Q1: What is IBC Table 504.3, and why is it important?
A1: IBC Table 504.3 is a critical reference table within the International Building Code (IBC) that provides information on allowable building height and area based on occupancy classification and construction type. It is essential because it helps architects, engineers, and code officials determine the maximum size and height of a building to ensure safety and compliance with building codes.
Q2: How do I determine the occupancy classification for a building?
A2: Occupancy classification is determined based on the primary use or purpose of the building. You can find detailed descriptions and criteria for occupancy classifications in Chapter 3 of the IBC. It's important to accurately classify the occupancy to use Table 504.3 effectively.
Q3: What are the different construction types mentioned in Table 504.3?
A3: The IBC defines five main construction types: Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, and Type V. Each type has specific requirements for the materials used in construction and their fire resistance. The chosen construction type affects allowable heights and areas.
Q4: How do I use Table 504.3 to determine allowable height and area for a building?
A4: To use Table 504.3, first identify the occupancy classification and construction type for your building project. Then, locate the corresponding row and column in the table to find the maximum allowable height and area.
Q5: What are "fire-resistance ratings," and why are they important?
A5: Fire-resistance ratings indicate how long a building component (e.g., walls, floors, roofs) can withstand fire exposure without losing its structural integrity. These ratings are crucial for ensuring fire safety and are often specified in the table for various building elements.
Q6: Can I have multiple occupancy classifications in one building?
A6: Yes, some buildings may have multiple occupancy classifications within them, known as mixed-occupancy buildings. The table may include provisions for calculating allowable heights and areas for mixed-occupancy buildings.
Q7: Are there any special provisions or exceptions in Table 504.3?
A7: The table may include special provisions or notes that provide additional guidance or requirements for specific circumstances or occupancies. Always check for any special provisions that may apply to your project.
Q8: Do local building codes or amendments affect Table 504.3?
A8: Yes, local building codes and amendments may modify or supplement the requirements found in the IBC, including Table 504.3. It's essential to consult your local jurisdiction's specific building code for any additional requirements or modifications.
Q9: How often does Table 504.3 get updated?
A9: The International Building Code is updated every three years, and with each new edition, there may be changes to tables and provisions.
Q10: Where can I find more information on using Table 504.3 in my jurisdiction?
A10: Contact your local building department or code enforcement agency. They can provide guidance on the application of Table 504.3 in your specific jurisdiction and answer any region-specific questions you may have.


IBC Table 504.3 is a critical reference in building design and construction to determine the allowable height and area for a building based on its intended use and construction materials. It helps architects, engineers, and code officials ensure that buildings are safe and comply with local building codes and regulations.\
  1. Occupancy Classification: It specifies the occupancy group or type of use for a particular building or part of a building. Common occupancy classifications include residential, commercial, industrial, educational, and more.
  2. Construction Type: It identifies the construction type of the building, such as Type I, Type II, Type III, Type IV, or Type V construction. These construction types define the materials and fire-resistance ratings used in the building's construction.
  3. Allowable Height: Table 504.3 provides the maximum allowable height of the building in feet or meters based on its occupancy classification and construction type. This helps ensure that buildings are constructed at a safe height relative to their use and construction.
  4. Allowable Area: It specifies the maximum allowable building area in square feet or square meters based on occupancy classification and construction type. This helps control the size of buildings and structures to ensure safety and code compliance.
  5. Fire Resistance Requirements: The table may also include fire-resistance rating requirements for various building components, such as walls, floors, and roofs, based on occupancy and construction type.