Print this page Print this page

International Building Code - Classification of Occupancy and Construction Type

Course Outline

To protect the safety and welfare of the public, all engineers and architects must get familiar with the latest building code requirements. Classification of building occupancy and construction types plays an important role in organizing and prescribing the appropriate protection measures for building occupants. Occupancy works with the height, area and construction type requirements in Chapters 5 and 6, as well as the special provisions in Chapter 4 of IBC, to provide a reasonable level of protection or life safety. This course highlights the use and occupancy classification and the types of construction, and helps you comply with the latest building code requirements in your design work. The course materials are based ENTIRELY on IBC 2018: Chapter 3 - Use and Occupancy Classification and Chapter 6 - Types of Construction.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Course Introduction

The International Code Council (ICC) was founded in 1994 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a single set of comprehensive and coordinated national model construction codes. The founders of the ICC are Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI).

The first draft of International Building Code was prepared in 1997. The first edition of International Building Code (IBC 2000) was officially published in March 2000 following several public hearings in 1998 and 1999 and a public comment forum in 1997. Since the 2000 edition, the International Building Code has been updated once every three years. Different states have adopted different editions of IBC as their current state building codes.

Course Content

The purpose of this course is to help engineers and architects get familiar with the use and occupancy classification and types of construction defined in IBC. In this course, you are required to study Chapters 3 and 6 of 2018 International Building Code (13 pages). If you or your office do not have this publication, we strongly recommend you to order a copy from the Online Store of ICC. In the meantime, you may browse the digital version available on the following websites:

Chapters 3 and 6 - ICC IBC (2018): International Building Code (HTML, non-printable)


ICC IBC (2018): International Building Code (PDF, printable)

The following contains the outline of Chapters 3 and 6 of IBC:

Chapter 3 - Use and Occupancy Classification

Table of Contents
Section 301 - Scope
Section 302 - Occupancy Classification and User Designation
Section 303 - Assembly Group A
Section 304 - Business Group B
Section 305 - Educational Group E
Section 306 - Factory Group F
Section 307 - High-Hazard Group H
Section 308 - Institutional Group I
Section 309 - Mercantile Group M
Section 310 - Residential Group R
Section 311 - Storage Group S
Section 312 - Utility and Miscellaneous Group U

Chapter 6 - Types of Construction

Table of Contents
Section 601 - General
Section 602 - Construction Classification
Section 603 - Combustible Material in Types I and II Construction

Course Summary

This course and its quiz questions highlight the basic classification of occupancy and contruction types in IBC. Chapter 3 of IBC deals with the classification of all buildings and structures as to use and occupancy while Chapter 6 the classification of all buildings and structures as to type of construction. It is very important for engineers to understand these classifications so that they can work effectively with architects.

Related Links

International Code Council
IBC Building Code Checklist for Commercial Projects - Grant County, WA
Commercial Building Permit Submittal Requirements - Montgomery County, MD (PDF)
(Note to user: if any of the above links becomes broken, you may find a similar resource by searching for "building code analysis checklist" in Google).


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.