cdp ACCESS, an online initiative aimed to increase participation in the International Code Council code development process, is being prepared for testing. The new process will allow for in-person and online participation while maintaining the high level of integrity ICC’s code development process is known for.
“cdp ACCESS is no longer a question, it is a reality,” said ICC Board President Ronald Piester. “Thanks to the guidance of the Steering Committee and constructive feedback we have received from our Members and stakeholders, the Board of Directors has authorized moving into the development phase of the project. We will continue to judiciously monitor the progress of cdp ACCESS, and will make any adjustments necessary to achieve the most successful outcome.”
Several steps will be taken over the next few months to prepare for testing online voting on a handful of code changes in October at the Public Comment Hearings, formerly called Final Action Hearings, in Atlantic City. Testing also will include submitting code changes and public comments online as well as collaboration tools for online submittals. The 2014 cycle for the development of the 2015 International Green Construction Code will be a binding Beta test for the entire cdp ACCESS process. The goal is to launch cdp ACCESS by 2015 in time for the cycle that will lead to the publication of the 2018 International Codes. A flow chart illustrating the cdp ACCESS is available at www.iccsafe.org/cdpACCESSFlowChart.
Support for cdp ACCESS has come from many who represent stakeholders and participate in code development, including ICC’s Founding Strategic Partners.
“The American Gas Association (AGA) strongly supports the process of developing and maintaining updated model codes and standards with wide participation from all stakeholders,” said AGA Managing Director Jim Ranfone. “The initiation of the cdp ACCESS program by the ICC will expand the input into the code development process providing more voices and involvement that will result in a higher quality product. We applaud the ICC for taking this bold step to increase participation and look forward to working together to accomplish our mutual goal of developing substantial and meaningful model codes that benefit everyone.”
“The cdp ACCESS program will enhance and broaden the opportunity for both code officials and home builders to participate in creating cost effective, technically feasible and affordable building codes,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman (NAHB) Rick Judson, a home builder and land developer from Charlotte, N.C. “In the past, many interested parties have been unable to participate due to limited resources and/or time. NAHB believes the program will foster increased participation and collaboration among all stakeholders and will improve the integrity and transparency of the Code Council’s governmental consensus code development process.”
“AIA supports any platform that facilitates technical discussions and expanded access to the code development process among codes experts,” said 2013 American Institute of Architects President Mickey Jacob, FAIA. “The code development process is collaborative, and as such, having a venue to discuss and determine the direction for proposed changes, is a valuable resource. The AIA continues to engage in the code development process at each stage, including informal discussions on how proposed changes would play out if accepted.”
“BOMA applauds ICC for addressing the problem of reduced participation in the code development process by ICC governmental voting members,” commented BOMA International Chair Joe Markling, managing director of Strategic Accounts with CBRE. “BOMA was also pleased to participate in the Code Development Process Access Steering Committee and applauds the ICC Board of Directors for implementing Committee recommendations, including remote voting by ICC members. While these changes in ICC's procedures present challenges to BOMA's advocacy efforts, we believe that wider participation by the state and local government building regulatory community will further enhance the development of effective and usable codes for the built environment.”
The concept of online participation in the ICC code development process dates back to 2001 when off-site voting on code changes was used by the three regional model code organizations that consolidated to become the ICC. Since then, there has been a growing demand from ICC Members for greater access to the code development process, including resolutions adopted by major state Chapters advocating expansion of the process to allow for “remote participation.” In July 2009, the International Code Council Board of Directors created a Code Development Review Ad Hoc Committee to examine all aspects of the ICC code development process. Two years later, the committee presented its report to the ICC Board, which was endorsed, including changes to ICC policies.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.