Back in the days of Hammurabi, king of Babylon, the building code was pretty simple: If your structure collapsed and killed the owner, you died. Things have become more complicated since then, if less severe. Today's architect must satisfy a host of regulations and standards, not to mention federal law. For places of public accommodation, however, the issues related to accessibility just became a little easier to understand.

The International Code Council (ICC) is offering a free tool for comparing two federal accessibility standards with the International Building Code (see “Matrix Sources,” below). The 2006 IBC/ADAAG Comparison, a 393-page chart, is available for download as a PDF from the ICC's website. To access the chart, users must fill out a web-based form, after which they will receive an e-mail containing a link to the web page where the document can be downloaded.

The matrix was developed by Perry, N.Y.–based BDBlack Codes, a firm that offers consulting and training services on building codes and the ADA, the Fair Housing Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Earlier this year, BDBlack developed a similar matrix for the U.S. Access Board that references the 2003 IBC and 2004 Supplement.

The IBC/ADAAG Comparison was downloaded 2,700 times in the first two months after it was made available in early July, says Gretchen Hesbacher, public relations specialist at the ICC.

Find the matrix at

Matrix Sources

2006 International Building Code (which references the 2003 edition of ICC/ANSI A117.1 Standard on Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities)

2004 Americans With Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities

1990 Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines