Soffit vents no longer required?

Over the years I have heard all sorts of BS stories from new construction builders about why they did not do one thing, or another. …It gets really old.

But I will give this guy the benefit of the doubt (for a minute), and accept the fact that I don’t always know everything, and some times codes do change.

So has any one heard of a code change that eliminates the requirement for soffit vents (bird block vents)? In this case there are no soffit vents any where, and I could see that a minimal amount of box vents were installed lower on the roof near the soffits instead. The builder stated that new building and fire codes required this installation.

I have researched, but fail to find anything supporting his position.

So what do you guys know about this?

Only time I have heard of this is when using foam or Icynene type of insulation

Call your AHJ and find out.

Could be fire codes.

About 5-6 years ago I was called into some new ~100 units apartment buildings with attic moisture problems that had already been “addressed” by a consulting engineer but the problem still persisted.

A large number of vents had been installed all over the roofs (5-6/12 slopes with regular asphalt shingles). It had a bit of a postive effect but did not solve the problem fully. Building interior ventilation and attic airsealing were both NOT ADDRESSED by the engineer!!

While I was there, I noticed that the over hanging soffit material was solid metal, not perforated as would be expected. Was told by one of the project architects that fire codes on these 3-4 story buildings would not allow the perforated soffits to prevent fire/smoke entry into the attics.

(Note- I don’t deal in fire codes for commercial, and other large buildings so this is second hand, hearsay info)

I’ll ask the obvious question: Where does/did the code ever say that soffit vents are required?

See Section R806 for requirements

Not even a requirement for soffits that I am aware of.

Well, the requirement for soffit vents was established by the architect who drafted the engineered plans, of which a copy was still in this home on the day of the inspection. It read that soffit vents were to be installed 24" O.C.

And R806 states that the ventilation must be balanced. Because you must have a minimum of 1/150 net free ventilation that is balanced, you are going to need just as many box vents along the lower portion as up at the ridge.

I think they new this looked like crap so they have about half as many below.

Funny thing is the insulator baffled the soffits for ventilation, as they normally do.