NIST had to admit that ICC did not adopt the recommendations that called for building professionals to “address areas such as designing structures to mitigate disproportionate progressive collapse.”[12]

In a January 2011 letter to NIST, the ICC confirmed that this was still the case.[13]  The only code changes that ICC adopted were:

“1) Luminous egress path marking required; 2) exit stairway enclosures required to be separated by no less than 30 feet; 3) enhanced inspection requirements for Sprayed-on Fire-Resistant Material (SFRM).”

And for buildings higher than 420 feet:

“1) Increased bond strength for SFRM; 2) a second, additional exit stairway, with a minimum separation between stairwells; 3) a requirement to increase structural integrity of exit enclosures and elevator hoist enclosures; 4) redundant sprinkler system risers with alternate floor requirements.”

Of these changes, only the two related to SFRM can be seen as linked to the official account of the collapse of the buildings. But even these changes were not planned for addition to the IBC code until release of the 2012 edition.  Apparently the concerns about the SFRM and its bond strength were not that great.

That might be because it’s tough to see how the SFRM code changes were related anyway.  That is, the ICC changes to require greater fireproofing bond strength cannot be reconciled with the fact that the fireproofing in the alleged failure areas of the towers was already far greater than what the code required.  Yet still the buildings suffered “progressive global collapse,” a phenomenon for which the ICC made no changes.

As for the inexplicable collapse of WTC 7, the ICC made no changes there either. The alleged root cause of floor beam thermal expansion is not addressed by any ICC code change.

How about New York City and government leaders in general?  Were federal and state leaders, municipalities and building professionals willing to put money into the relevant recommendations made by NIST, and thereby endorse the official explanations for what happened at the WTC? No, they were not.

The current (2008) NYC code includes changes that were said to be modeled after the ICC’s changes, which were said to be a result of the NIST WTC investigation.  However, the actual changes made were not related to NIST’s three root causes of the WTC destruction.  Instead, they focused on “widened stairwells in high-rise buildings, expanded sprinkler systems, and enhanced emergency voice communication systems.”[14]

The NYC building code includes a requirement for SFRM bond strength that clearly does not take the WTC investigation into account.  The requirement is that the bond strength “shall not be less than 150 pounds per square foot (psf).“[15] The problem is that the bond strength of the fireproofing in the WTC was known to be much higher than this and yet we’re told it was still widely dislodged.

The Port Authority of NY and NJ provided 64 bond strength measurement values to NIST, taken from the fireproofing in the impact and failures zones of the WTC.  NIST even listed these in its report.  None were as low as 150 psf and most were twice that value.[16]  The failure to increase the bond strength requirement in the building code, leaving it at a value that was far lower than what the WTC had in place, indicates that NYC officials are not in the least bit worried about bond strength.

Related to WTC 7, the 2008 NYC code also refers to the need to ensure that the fire-induced expansion of building components (e.g. steel beams) does “not adversely interfere with the system’s capabilities.”[17] But the 1968 code included similar requirements and even stated that the coefficient of expansion for all building materials needed to be addressed in test reports.[18]

More specifically, the 1968 code that WTC 7 was required to meet stated that the design “shall provide for forces and/or movements resulting from an assumed expansion corresponding to a change in temperature.”  Therefore not only was there no change as a result of the NIST WTC 7 report, given the NIST account we might wonder if the original WTC 7 was constructed outside of the NYC code requirements.

Another Reason the NIST WTC Reports Are False

Despite its grandiose claims, NIST knows that the building community has ignored the WTC investigation findings.  That’s clear from NIST’s own tracking sheet on its website.  This tracks all 30 recommendations from the NIST WTC investigation and lists the code “outcomes” from each.[19]  As of August 2011, the most recent update, not one NIST recommendation related to progressive global collapse, “widely dislodged” fireproofing, or linear thermal expansion has been adopted.

The two NIST recommendations that call for (unspecified) measures to prevent progressive global collapse have been completely ignored.  Other things like an additional exit stairway, a fire service access elevator, and stairwells with glow-in-the-dark markings are simply not relevant.[20]

NIST might argue that there is one ICC change that calls for fireproofing to have increased bond strength and be installed and inspected correctly.  But since bond strength was not a root cause of the WTC destruction, and measurements just before 9/11 showed that the fireproofing in the impact zones was far better installed and had far better bond strength than what was required, this is a red herring.  That’s not to mention that no tests were ever done to indicate what bond strength was needed to resist flying aircraft debris.

Are tall buildings safer as a result of the NIST WTC report?  No, they are most certainly not. And if people actually understood and believed the official account of what happened at the WTC they would not enter tall buildings because in doing so they would be putting their lives at risk.

The truth, however, is that the NIST WTC investigation was a politically motivated diversion that produced reports which are known to be false.  This fact is re-emphasized by the knowledge that the international building community, including that of New York City, has not adopted code changes that can be traced to the root causes cited by NIST for the WTC destruction.


[1] NIST, Safer Buildings Are Goal of New Code Changes Based on Recommendations from NIST World Trade Center Investigation, October 1, 2008,

[2] Marc Jacobsen, The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll, New York Magazine, Mar 19, 2006,

[3] NIST NCSTAR 1-1F, Executive Summary, p XXV,

[4] The NIST WTC reports can be found at

[5] Kevin R. Ryan, Another amazing coincidence related to the WTC,, January 6, 2008,

[6] For the SFRM thickness and adhesion values, see NIST WTC report NCSTAR 1-6A, figure A-60,

[7] Kevin R. Ryan, The Short Reign of Ryan Mackey, Journal of 9/11 Studies, December 2007,

[8] Public Comments Received by NIST on DRAFT Reports, August 2008,, See also – Fire Safety Researchers at Victoria University Disagree with NIST’s WTC 7 Report,

[9] An easy way to see to understand the falsity of the NIST WTC reports is to watch my two short videos on the subject — Why the NIST Report for the Towers is False,   and Why the NIST WTC 7 Report is False,

[10] NIST WTC Recommendations Are Basis for New Set of Revised Codes, June 9, 2010

[11] Wayne Barrett, Rudy Giuliani’s Five Big Lies About 9/11, The Village Voice, July 31, 2007,

[12] NIST, Safer Buildings Are Goal of New Code Changes Based on Recommendations from NIST World Trade Center Investigation, October 1, 2008,

[13] National Institute of Standards and Technology: Request for Information, International Code Council, Docket No. 0909100442-0563-02, January 12, 2011,

[14] The Real Deal, New York City Real Estate News, New buildings must meet latest NYC construction code, July 01, 2009,

[15] 2008 New York City Building Code,  section 909.4.2 Temperature Effect of Fire, section 1704.11.5

[16] NIST NCSTAR 1-6A, p 45

[17] 2008 New York City Building Code,  section 909.4.2 Temperature Effect of Fire, section 909.4.2

[18] 1968 New York City Building Code,  Article 2: Fire protection test Procedures,

[19] Status of NIST’s Recommendations Following the Federal Building and Fire Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster, NIST WTC website, August 8, 2011,

[20] Building design and Construction (Staff), NIST WTC recommendations finally adopted in the model building codes, August 11, 2011,