The code development process is open, balanced and inclusive

As you may have seen, the New York Times published an article about our code development process last week. Unfortunately, this piece is misleading and gives a skewed perspective on how the code development process works.

Our code development protocols are designed to ensure that no single group is able to influence the code development process to favor a particular trade or industry, and that governmental voting members always have the final say.

Here are a few facts left out of the article:

  • Our process encourages participation by many different groups. Anyone can apply to be on a code committee, and we encourage all interested parties to participate in the process.
  • We do reserve seats on some of our code development committees for representatives of the industries that use and rely on the codes, such as representatives of industry trade associations, structural engineers, members of the fire service, architects and others. Representatives from these industries go through the same application, review and approval process as all others who apply or are nominated for committee seats.
  • The participation of industry representatives is critical to the process, as their input helps ensure that code change proposals reflect the evolving needs of the construction industry.
  • Industry representatives do not make up a majority of any code change committee. Each committee is comprised of a range of individuals including code officials, building owners, design professionals, insurance companies, private inspection agencies, academics, builders, contractors, manufacturers and distributors. Per Code Council policy, a minimum of one-third of each committee consists of government regulators.
  • If an individual disagrees with the committee’s decisions, he/she can submit a public comment, which is considered during the Public Comment Hearings.
  • The final votes on all code changes are made by governmental member representatives who are charged with protecting the public’s health and safety and have no financial or business interest in the outcome. Non-governmental members who served on committees do not get to vote in this final round.

Our code development process is open, balanced, transparent and inclusive. This process results in the International Codes, the most widely used and adopted set of building codes in the world. The I-Codes are the world’s standard for safety and resiliency, and they provide $11 in hazard mitigation benefits for every $1 invested.

To learn more about the code development process and how it works, click here.

And, visit to learn how the I-Codes support safe, sustainable and resilient communities.