When standards are adopted by a governing body they become part of the regulatory code of that body. These standards (or regulations or codes) are no longer voluntary and must be adhered to by the affected parties.
For example the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of standards accepted and made into law by the U.S. government.
Standards.gov provides a thorough explanation of standards and their relationship to regulations:
Many local (city and county) codes are based on these codes. If you are working on a project in a specific area, be sure to find out what codes apply to that jurisdiction.
International Building Code
Located in Built Environments or Engineering Library at call Number: K3538.A15 I58. Check the Library Catalog for specific years and locations.
Many local building codes are based on this standard code. Related codes include the International Plumbing Code, International Mechanical Code, International Fire Code. Check the Library Catalog for availability and location information.
Uniform Building Code
Call Number: KF5701.A39 I5, Engineering Library Reference, 1st floor.
Many people ask for the UBC but it was last published in 1997 and has been superseded by the International Building Code. We have a copy of the 1997.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
The NFPA produces the National Fire Codes which is a compilation of codes, standards, recommended practices, and guides.
Our most current edition of the National Fire Code is on the 1st floor of the Engineering Library Standards Area at call number: TH9111.N375a. Older editions are on the 4th floor at the same call number.
Call Number: Built Environments Library Reference (TH4815.5. W56 2010 ).
R.S. Means , Reed Construction Data publishes a range of guidebooks for finding costs and using estimating methods in various phases of construction projects. These are located in the Build Environments or the Engineering Library. Check the Library catalog for details on a specific title.
Engineers frequently encounter building codes.
What are building codes?
A set of standards established and enforced by local government for the structural safety of buildings. (WordNet Search)
Laws, usually but not always enacted by local government units, that set safety and fire protection standards. These codes affect the materials and methods used in the construction of buildings. For example, a code provision might require sprinkler systems in motel rooms.
(American Banker: Banker's Glossary)