At Peak Engineering, we can help with all aspects of alternate means and methods of design.
In several portions of the U.S. where jurisdictions have adopted the International Code Council’s model codes, we can help when you have a idea that doesn’t fit the prescriptive code minimum requirements. Remember, the model codes adopted by states are generally a minimum requirement, and concepts that provide an equal or greater level of safety may be considered by your local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ).
The 2015 codes (generally the most recently adopted version) have the following section:
104.11 Alternative materials, design and methods of construction and equipment.
The provisions of this code are not intended to prevent the installation of any material or to prohibit any design or method of construction not specifically prescribed by this code, provided that any such alternative has been approved. An alternative material, design or method of construction shall be approved where the building official finds that the proposed design is satisfactory and complies with the intent of the provisions of this code, and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in this code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety.
The IBC code commentary goes on to explain that the code is not intended to prohibit innovation in building construction, especially when it provides an equal or greater level of safety than provided in the model codes.
Peak Engineering can help you find a testing agency and to help in facilitating discussions on acceptance with your local AHJ.