International Code Council
    International Fire Code
     United States

Organization International Code Council
Note: Although primarily written for the United States, many of the International Code Council standards are recognized internationally.


Develops, through a cooperative effort between BOCA, ICBO and SBCCI, a series of Model Building Codes that are adopted by many states and other political jurisdictions and therefore carry the force of law, and are used by local building inspectors to approve building construction. These codes set forth minimum performance requirements for all aspects of commercial and residential construction, including building safety and structural systems, fire prevention, mechanical systems, plumbing systems, property maintenance and zoning.

Status The I-Codes are currently engaged in the 2012/2013 ICC Code Development Cycle. See HIPOC below for proposed changes relevant to hydrogen and fuel cells.



Hydrogen Issues Addressed in International Code Council’s Fire Code & Fuel Gas Code Related to Hydrogen Infrastructure or Fuel Cells

Identification Hydrogen Industry Panel on Codes (HIPOC)

Mission HIPOC was created in 2006 to harmonize hydrogen codes and standards activities within ICC and NFPA.

Status The following changes will be incorporated into the 2009 editions of:        
International Building Code
Canopy top storage of hydrogen to be classified as outdoor storage

International Fire Code
Allows fuel for fuel cell power system to be located on utility easement
Adds reference to UL 2075-2007 for gas detectors in areas repairing hydrogen vehicles
Adds reference to EN 1081-2004 for construction of vehicle fueling pads
·  Clarifies that NFPA 55 applies to Bulk GH2 and LH2 systems
·  Clarification of weather protection for stationary fuel cells using hydrogen  


International Fuel Gas Code

·  Stationary fuel cell to be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, NFPA 853 and the IBC & IFC.




Proposed changes for 2012 International Fire Code were approved at a public hearing to harmonize separation distance requirements for bulk hydrogen including: (a) changes to paragraphs 3501.1, 3502.1, 3504.2.1, (b) changes to Table 3504.2.1, and (c) new paragraphs 3504.2.1, and 3504.


The Final Hearing on these changes will be held in Charlotte, NC October 28 – November 1, 2010.



The HIPOC has formed a subgroup to develop code change proposals relating to indoor refueling of hydrogen powered industrial vehicles including fork lifts and “tugs”, HIPOC and the indoor fueling subgroup comprises members consisting of fire marshals, code officials, and representatives from industry. The overall goal of the subgroup is to provide clarity and consistency between the fire codes and NFPA 52 for installation of indoor hydrogen vehicle refueling stations. The subgroup’s short-term goals focus is on proposals for NFPA 52 due by May of 2011 and a longer term focus on the next cycle of ICC code changes and NFPA 55 as required.

In 2008, members of HIPOC and the Hydrogen Technology Committee at the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) assembled detailed code change proposals to the ICC International Fire Code (IFC) for indoor hydrogen fueling. For a variety of reasons the Fire Code Committee voted not to accept those proposed changes to the IFC.

More recently a subgroup of NFPA 2 Working Group 6 and researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have been funded to model the indoor hydrogen release scenario associated with an unlikely but potential thermal relief valve failure mode identified with fueling of hydrogen-powered vehicles. This work leverages previous work by Sandia in hydrogen releases in highway tunnels. Sandia will use a half-scale model of a warehouse to validate computational fluid models and validate the modeling used by CGA and NFPA to develop table Minimum Room Volume Based on Maximum Fueling Event (kg). Sandia has developed a half scale model approach using input from industry OEMs. These simulations are planned for August 2010. The HIPOC subgroup will coordinate with the NFPA 2 subgroup as their work progresses and integrate results from Sandia’s modeling.

To ensure that the efforts developed for the 2008 ICC proposals are not lost, the HIPOC subgroup will review the old ICC proposals along with comments from the IFC Committee which recommended their rejection. Based on that review, as well as the NFPA 2 subgroup’s results, the HIPOC subgroup will draft recommendations for the entire Panel’s consideration. Because of the order of approaching due dates, development of potential proposals for NFPA 52 will be the first priority, followed by proposals to ICC and NFPA 55 as appropriate. If HIPOC proposals are accepted by the NFPA- 52 technical committee the subgroup will submit proposals harmonize the language in the related ICC codes.

The long-term goal of the HIPOC subgroup coordination of fire codes (NFPA and IFC) for safe, efficient and consistent installation of indoor refueling stations.

Chairman Tom Joseph (Air Products)
Vice Chairman Nancy Pehrson (Center Point Energy)
Darren Meyers  
Carl Rivkin