Discussion Thread

  • 1.  What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 11-07-2021 02:24 PM

    I want to learn AASHTO, ASTM and other US codes of practice related with civil engineering construction. Please help me how I can get access. 


    Muzafar Ahmed Aff.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Banihal, Doda

  • 2.  RE: What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 11-16-2021 10:05 AM
    I can comment on what I use. I work with Structures within NYC. So I refer to the NYC Building code (which refers to other codes...)
    I hope this is a useful start and others with more experience can chime in!

    Daniel Bressler EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Brooklyn NY

  • 3.  RE: What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 12-07-2021 09:33 AM

    Hi Daniel,
    You are on the right track. Since you are in NY then the NYC Building Codes have information that will help you in your design work. There are also reference standards from ASCE, NFPA and others. Also look at the historic NYC building codes to determine how an existing structure was built. I also studied building codes from other parts of the country to learn the differences and how they were developed. Today it is easier with the International  Code Council and the internet. To  truly understand a code you need to see how it was developed and why it was developed. Two valuable lessons I learned while working were - "go to the site and inspect the structures to see exactly how they are being constructed  or how they were constructed" and "ask questions" not just to engineers but also contractors, laborers etc. 

    John Giardiello, PE 

    John Giardiello P.E., M.ASCE
    Port Saint Lucie FL

  • 4.  RE: What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 12-24-2021 10:16 AM
    Hi Ahmed,

    First step would be to understand your needs. ASTM is American Society for Testing and Materials, primarily concerned with materials and their properties. AASHTO is American Association of State Highway and Transportation, Primarily concerned with Roads and Highway construction.

    Apart from these you should first lay your hands on three primary codes ACI 318 , AISC  360 and ASCE -7 These form the basis of all design and construction in Steel and Concrete. Soft copies can be downloaded and purchased online.

    Hope this helps.

    Mandeep Singh Kohli 

    Mandeep Singh Kohli CP, M.ASCE
    Senior Engineer

  • 5.  RE: What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 01-31-2022 03:35 PM
    Each of the areas have websites you can go visit. However, you are tackling a vast universe with individual solar systems each with its own systems of planets and stars. Even when you narrow down the field it is like looking into a microscope, where the material specification (ASTM) is the smallest particle of any one area. May I recommend learning the when, where, why and the who of the various codes and specifications one of the most important aspects of civil engineering construction given their quantity and the various applications.  I recommend developing a general understanding of their content; when and how they are applied; the means by which they are conveyed; and what aspect and type of a construction project. More often than not, the applicable codes and specifications are identified in contract documents. 
    Codes, specifications, and guidance documents are constantly changing as information is learned, new products produced, and techniques developed. I start each project gathering information on the applicable codes, specifications and reviewing them (I even search for document errata).

    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA

  • 6.  RE: What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 02-01-2022 07:55 AM
    There is an enormous amount of information with what you list, just ASTM itself can fill a bookshelf.   Figuring out a specific part of a code should help you begin.  Do you have any specific interest?  Also costs can be an issue if where you work does not have this info., which I suspect is the case by your writing for others to respond.  ASTM is a private entity.  ASTM docs. costs money.  AASHTO is a private entity, formed from the various DOTs from the many US states.  The AASHTO publications cost money.  However, each state DOT should have the specific info. for that state readily available on the Internet.  One challenge I have experienced over my entire career is getting into some codes and specifications at times becomes a seemingly never ending "chase" following additional codes and specs. that are adopted by reference or are just referenced in the code or spec. that I am reviewing. 

    INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation) has info. at
    where you can find the standard specs. used for construction. 

    Building Codes in Indiana are found on the Internet at
    Reading through some of them it is evident that much of the Building Code in Indiana is adopted by reference from a private source, most often the International Building Code.  To get that info. typically is quite costly.

    I suggest searching on the Internet for government sources, such as state DOTs, state building departments, environmental agencies, etc. since the government documents are public record, many are readily available on the Internet. 

    Some libraries may have this info.  My county library has some of this info. from many years ago so the codes are not current. 

    Good Luck,

    Dave Devine

    David Devine P.E., L.S., M.ASCE
    Fort Wayne IN

  • 7.  RE: What construction codes should I study?

    Posted 02-01-2022 11:27 AM
    Global.ihs.com is a centralized source for codes and practically any technical documentations you may want to consider.

    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA