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ICC News Release
For Immediate Release
February 5, 2016
Contact: Trey Hughes
1-888-ICC-SAFE (422-7233), ext. 5237

Executive Order Calls for Use of I-Codes in all New, Leased and Regulated Federal Buildings for Seismic Safety

Federal Facilities Must Meet Requirements in the International Building and Residential Codes

Prior to the start of the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit, President Obama issued an Executive Order, Establishing a Federal Earthquake Risk Standard that calls for new, leased and regulated federal buildings to meet seismic safety provisions outlined in the International Building Code (IBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC). Both model codes are produced by the International Code Council. The IBC and IRC are developed through the Council’s governmental consensus process and updated regularly to reflect the latest advancements in building science.

Participating in the “Building for Earthquake Safety” session at the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit are: (left to right) Judge Alice Hill with the National Security Council; National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Willie May; Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims; and Dr. Lucy Jones with the U.S. Geological Survey.

“There is no more important contributor to reducing communities’ risks from earthquakes than the adoption and application of modern building codes and standards,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO, who served as a panelist at the earthquake summit in Washington, D.C. “To survive and remain resilient, and to assure the rapid recovery of local economies, communities must employ the most up-to-date code provisions. This Executive Order ensures that federal facilities and their occupants will be safe when the next earthquake strikes.”

The Code Council works collaboratively with the National Institute of Building Sciences and the American Society of Civil Engineers to translate National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program provisions into the IBC. The Council’s three-year code development cycles incorporate the most up-to-date science and technology for seismic safety for broad use by designers, contractors, manufacturers and code officials. The Executive Order calls for Federal agencies to comply with the provisions of updated versions of the IBC and IRC within two years of their release.

Pictured at the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit are: (left to right) Code Council Board of Directors President Alex Olszowy, III; White House National Security Council Director of Hazard Mitigation & Risk Reduction Policy Eric Letvin; Federal Alliance for Safe Homes President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson; and Code Council CEO Dominic Sims.

The Executive Order also calls for the use of Standards of Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned and Leased Buildings, developed and issued by the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC), for existing facilities. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) serves as the lead for the ICSSC. The Code Council is launching a massive effort to assure designers and contractors have code-approved products for installation and inspection at facilities and that manufacturers can demonstrate compliance and get their products to market quickly.

Sims was a panelist during the “Building for Earthquake Safety” session at the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit. He was joined by NIST Director Willie May and Dr. Lucy Jones with the U.S. Geological Survey. Judge Alice Hill, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Resilience Policy at the National Security Council, served as the moderator. In addition to seismic provisions for new and existing buildings, the summit focused on early warning detection systems and new commitments to increasing earthquake awareness and safety for the public.

“This is a significant day for building safety professionals and the construction industry as a whole,” said Code Council Board of Directors President Alex Olszowy, III, with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government in Lexington, Ky. “When code officials, designers, manufacturers and contractors work together, along with government leaders, researchers and academia, we enhance our goal of creating a safer built environment. The beneficiaries, of course, are the people who occupy the structures where they live, work, worship, go to school, and play.”


Note: You can download the photographs at

About the International Code Council
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.