New pandemic task force works to develop resources to prepare buildings and communities worldwide for disease-related threats
Recognizing the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on new and existing buildings and construction, the International Code Council and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) established a task force on pandemics late last year. Entrusted with developing resources to help prepare buildings and communities for disease-related threats, the Board Task Force on Pandemics analyzes all aspects of the built environment to find solutions that reduce the risks posed by pandemics.
It completes a comprehensive review of the current code requirements, existing guides, executive orders, regulations, white papers, reports and standards related to the design, preparedness and health considerations for building construction, operation and pandemics. Then, the group identifies best practices and guides to address the design and layout of new and existing buildings and establish a comprehensive package of public information materials.
The Pandemic Task Force Committee consists of a broad cross-section of building, code, design, insurance, plumbing and public health environmental experts appointed by the Code Council Board of Directors.
Pandemic Task Force Committee
Nichole D. Lemin — Co-Chair
Nichole D. Lemin joined Franklin County Public Health, in Columbus, Ohio, as Assistant Health Commissioner and Environmental Health Director in 2013. Prior to that, she served in several state and local capacities. Lemin currently serves on the National Environmental Health Association Board of Directors as regional vice president for Region 6 and is co-chair of the International Code Council/NEHA Pandemic Task Force. She earned a master’s degree in environmental, health and safety management from The University of Findlay and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Ohio Northern University. She is a registered environmental health specialist with the state of Ohio and the National Environmental Health Association, and a master exercise practitioner.
Thomas W. Peterson — Co-Chair
Thomas W. Peterson, building official with the Division of Facilities Construction and Management for the state of Utah, currently serves on the International Code Council’s Board of Directors as a sectional director for the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Mexico. A certified combination building inspector/plans examiner, he has worked as a journeyman electrician, master electrician, combination inspector and chief building official, and is the president and chief executive officer of his own electrical contracting company, Peterson Electric LLC. A past president of the Utah Chapter Northern Region and a current president for the Utah Chapter of the International Code Council, Peterson is a member of the Building Official Membership Council Governing Committee and is co-chair of the International Code Council/NEHA Pandemic Task Force.
Adil K. Al-Tamimi
Professor Adil K. Al-Tamimi with the department of civil engineering and coordinator of the Institute of Materials Systems group at the American University of Sharjah offers training on topics related to sustainability in construction, green building design, 3D concrete printing, applications of nanomaterials in construction, and sustainable engineering of cementitious composites and safety. He has worked in the construction industry for more than 25 years. Prior to joining the American University of Sharjah, he contributed to the establishment of the Advanced Concrete & Masonry Center at the University of Paisley, UK. He has established and coordinated the first UAE national forum for the design of concrete durability standards, compromised of members from four UAE universities, the UAE Society of Engineers, the Dubai and Sharjah Municipalities, the Ministry of Public Works & Housing, and many consultants in the UAE. He has published more than 100 papers in journals and proceedings and co-authored two books and three book chapters.
Dr. Esber Andiroglu, Ph.D., P.E., LEED AP, director of the MS-CM program with the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Miami in Florida, is a registered professional engineer and a LEED AP accredited educator who has extensive industry experience in evaluation, design, operation and performance analysis of systems in built environments. His public education focus is centered around sustainability, coastal resilience, preservation and recovery of energy and water resources, and empowerment of local communities. His research area of interest focuses on the development of virtual fan/pump flow meters and their application to air/water conveyance systems for achieving optimized performance efficiency. In addition, he is currently engaged in multiple coastal resilience-focused applied research projects in collaboration with local communities and governmental agencies in South Florida. He is an associate professor of practice in the MS in Construction Management Program at UM College of Engineering. He holds a master’s degree and bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in civil/architectural engineering.
Employed as the division chief of prevention for the Brighton Fire Rescue District in Colorado since July 2020, Elizabeth Bednarcik oversees community risk reduction efforts and her vast knowledge of data collection and analysis has helped to create effective risk reduction programs. Bednarcik was recognized in 2017 by the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office for her Community Risk Reduction Plan she created for the city of Gallatin. This extensive plan also brought her national recognition as a leader and innovative thinker for the health and safety of the fire service in America. Her expertise in risk management has gained her the prestigious classification as an instructor for the National Fire Academy. Bednarcik lives by the servant leadership philosophy of helping others develop and perform as highly as possible. She holds a bachelor’s degree in design communications from Belmont University, and will soon complete her Executive Fire Officer degree from the National Fire Academy and a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia Southern University.
Chad Beebe is a registered architect, a certified fire protection specialist, a certified healthcare facility manager, and a certified building official. He is currently deputy executive director for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association, located in Chicago, Illinois. He serves on many national panels and committees that develop regulations for the design and construction of healthcare facilities. Beebe is a highly active member of the National Fire Protection Association and a member of the NFPA Standards Council. From 1999 to 2010, Beebe served as the authority having jurisdiction for the Washington State Department of Health and managed its Construction Review Services program, which is responsible for overseeing the design and construction of all healthcare-related facilities in the state, including board and care facilities, nursing homes and hospitals.
Ted Black is the chief deputy Utah state fire marshal. He brings 38 years of fire prevention experience (28 years with the fire service and 10 years in the private sector) to the committee. He is a former chair of the Utah State Fire Prevention Board, an ICC-certified fire marshal and building official and an adjunct instructor at Utah Valley University. He holds an associate’s degree in drafting and design technology from Utah Technical College, a bachelor’s degree in fire administration/investigation from Columbia Southern University, and a master’s degree in management and leadership from Western Governors University.
John Catlett, MCP, retired as the director of code administration for the city of Alexandria, Virginia, in 2015 after a 32-year career in local and federal government, serving as a building, fire and maintenance code official in similar roles for the city of Williamsburg and the city of Winchester. Upon retirement, he worked as the manager of code development for the American Wood Council followed by the director of codes for BOMA International. He went into business full-time as a codes consultant in 2018. Catlett obtained the Master Code Professional designation in 1998 and has served in code development for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the International Code Council for 25 years. He is a past president of the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association and served on its Board of Directors from 1998 to 2014. In 2015, he received the Meritorious Service Award, President’s Award and was bestowed Honorary Lifetime Membership. He has served in various roles with the International Code Council, including the Electrical/Property Maintenance/Energy/Existing Structure/Zoning Codes Interpretation Committee, International Existing Structures Code Development Committee, International Building Code Development Committee (General), and International Existing Building Code Development Committee. He currently serves on the ICC Industry Advisory Committee, ICC Codes and Standards Council, ICC ANSI A117.1 Accessibility Committee member, ICC Long-term Code Development Process Ad Hoc Committee, ICC Validation Committee, and ICC Fire Code Action Committee Construction Fire Subgroup.
China Clarke, RA, senior architect with the New York State Department of State (NYSDOS) Division of Building Standards and Codes in Albany, is a registered architect, a certified code enforcement official, and a member of ICC’s Northeast Regional Coalition. In addition to the Code Development Unit, she worked for the Division of Building Standards Code’s Technical Unit, providing code-related technical guidance to code enforcement officials, elected officials, and design professionals. Prior to joining NYSDOS, Clarke worked for the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Architecture and Engineering Review as a plan reviewer. She has eight years of professional experience in architecture. Her varied experience includes designing physical therapy satellite facilities, business offices, small manufacturing facilities, assisted living facilities and single-family residences. During the final few years of her private-sector professional practice, she primarily focused on the adaptive reuse of historic buildings into multi-unit, market-rate housing. Clarke holds a master’s degree in architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
David S. Collins
David S. Collins, FAIA, president and founding member of The Preview Group, Inc., in Cincinnati, Ohio, has extensive experience in numerous code-related organizations and activities and has worked on a wide spectrum of projects, garnering him a national reputation as an expert in codes and regulations. As a consultant to the Codes Advocacy Program for The American Institute of Architects since 2000, he has participated in committee work for the International Code Council, National Fire Protection Association, Green Building Institute, Underwriters Laboratories, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others. Collins’ active involvement at all levels of the code development process allows him the opportunity to influence decisions that affect the regulatory environment throughout the U.S. A registered architect in Ohio, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C., he serves on the ANSI A117.1 Standard for Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Committee and the ICC Codes & Standards Committee, and served on the ICC Code Technology Committee from 2005 to 2017.
Stephen C. Ericson
Stephen C. Ericson, P.E., CEM, chief mechanical engineer for the Facilities Criteria Office of the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) in Washington, D.C., is a registered professional engineer with 44 years of experience in engineering, design and construction of commercial, institutional, power and industrial projects. He spent five of those years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His work in building services design includes HVAC and plumbing, controls, process controls and equipment, steam and condensate, fuels, boiler plants, sanitary, water, plating shops, industrial facilities, energy and renewable systems, and piping systems. He was named the 2016 Engineer of the Year for NAVFAC Atlantic. Ericson holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Old Dominion University.
Jonathan Flannery, MHSA, FASHE, FACHE, is the senior associate director of advocacy for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association in Chicago, Illinois, playing a key role in ASHE’s advocacy program, which works for better codes and standards affecting health care facilities. Flannery has 30 years of health care engineering experience and continues to serve as part of ASHE’s educational faculty. He serves on national panels and committees that develop regulations for the design and construction of health care facilities such as the International Code Council’s Health Care Committee, ASHRAE SSPC 170 Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, ASHRAE SSPC 189.3 Design, Construction & Operation of Sustainable High Performance Health Care Facilities, and NFPA AIC-AAA Committee for NFPA Standards 90A & B.
Dr. Stephen Garvin is head of the Building Standards Division for the Scottish Government, UK, advising Scottish ministers on building standards and related matters. Leading a division of 25 staff covering the technical, practice and development of the building standards system, Garvin manages the maintenance and adaptation of building standards legislation, regulations and guidance; works across policy areas within the Scottish government, including the Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety; and is involved as a liaison with external groups, including the IRCC, British Standards committees and industry bodies.
Geoff Hanmer, RAIA, is a managing director of ARINA and of ARINA’s Singapore entity, ARINA Consultants Pte Ltd. ARINA clients include 35 of the 39 Universities in Australia, and ARINA is active in architecture for higher education throughout Australia, in the Asian region and around the world. A registered architect and adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide, Hanmer was awarded the Kenneth and Hazel Milne Traveling Scholarship by the Department of Architecture at the University of Adelaide and chose to attend the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning in London where he obtained an MSc in architecture by research. His research thesis examined the architectural and constructional significance of interwar housing in Britain, including the use of innovative materials. Hanmer was the lead researcher and author of “The Quality Guide to Medium Density Housing” which was based on an examination of over 500 defective buildings in Sydney during 1993 and 1994. More recently, he has been researching the impact of indoor air quality on the spread of SARS-CoV-2. He is on the advisory board of the NHMRC CRE on Epidemic Response with Professor Raina Macintyre. His articles have been published in the SMH, the AFR, The Australian and The Conversation and he is regularly seen and heard on television and radio.
Bryan P. Holland
Bryan P. Holland, MCP, CStd, is the senior field representative of the southern region for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). He is the principal voting member representing NEMA on the NFPA 780, NFPA 78 and NFPA 1078 Technical Committees, and was a member of the ICC Commercial Energy Code Development Committee during the 2019 Group B cycle. Holland currently holds 41 ICC certifications, including the prestigious Master Code Professional, Electrical Code Official and Energy Code Specialist. He also holds 24 FEMA certifications and is a Certified Standards Professional by the Society of Standards Professionals. Prior to his tenure with NEMA, Holland worked for the city of North Port, Florida, as the building official and is a licensed building code administrator, plans examiner and inspector in the state of Florida. He also serves as an instructor and course developer for the Electrical Council of Florida and is a member of the Florida Electrical Technical Advisory Committee. Holland is a member of the IAEI, ICC, NFPA and SES.
Eli P. Howard, III
Eli P. Howard, III, is the executive director of technical services and research for the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA). He has been with SMACNA for 25 years and is responsible for all SMACNA technical standards, manuals and guidelines for the HVAC, industrial, residential and architectural industries. In his role, Howard has additional responsibilities as both a voting member and liaison to other national standards developers in the industry, such as the International Code Council, National Fire Protection Association, International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials, United States Green Building Council, Building Services & Engineering Association, and Australian Mechanical Contractors Association. His prior experience includes both mechanical design with the world’s largest hotel corporation and project management with full-service mechanical contractors.
Jatinder Khokhar, director of inspection services for the Department of Construction & Inspections in Seattle, Washington, has 37 years of experience in construction and development services, including but not limited to permitting, plan review, inspections, code enforcement, planning/zoning review and inspection, code consulting and business development, and management areas. He previously worked in roles within a local government building inspection department as a deputy building official, community development director, combination inspector, engineering plans examiner, tunneling inspector, systems testing inspector, and chief building inspector for different town, city and county departments across four states within the U.S. Over the years, he has been involved with many code-related boards, committees and commissions as a member and chairperson. He is a certified combination inspector, a certified building official and a certified building code official in the commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Larry Lynch is senior vice president of certification and operations for the National Restaurant Association, where he represents the association in efforts related to food safety and science, oversees the development and delivery of the association’s broad array of accredited credentials, and is responsible for program accreditation, customer operations support, state food safety compliance coordination and food safety instructor quality. Lynch is also president of the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. His focus on food safety and certification includes 17 years of active participation in the Conference for Food Protection where he has served for 12 years on the Food Manager Certification Committee and three terms on the council overseeing conference administration. He has been active in the Global Food Safety Initiative and is a subject matter expert for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) helping to develop ISO 22003, which includes the rules applicable for the audit and certifications of a food safety management system. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science at Rutgers University where he continued graduate studies toward a master’s degree in public administration.
Anthony Santiago, who is committed to improving outcomes for children and families, joined the Institute for Youth, Education and Families (IYEF) at the National League of Cities (NLC) in 2013. As a department director focusing on partnership and program development, he facilitates new collaborations with municipal governments and IYEF, while also supporting several portfolio areas from program design through implementation. Since 2016, Santiago has been leading NLC’s efforts to inform and engage municipal leaders on the intersection between health and housing, and the role housing policies can play in positively impacting health outcomes for residents. He is a proud Annie E. Casey Foundation Children & Family Fellow and is committed to leading large-scale efforts that improve outcomes for vulnerable populations. Prior to his position at the NLC, he was deputy chief of staff for the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, for several years. In municipal government, his concentration was in the use of data for innovation and performance management in addition to managing the city’s financial empowerment initiatives.
John Steele is senior director of government relations for Johnson Controls, handling state and local government legislative and regulatory issues. Before joining Johnson Controls, he was director of state and local affairs for the American Beverage Association. Previous to that position, he served as press secretary to numerous members of Congress. Steele has degrees in journalism and political science from Rutgers University.
Timothy Washington, CPD, GPD, represents the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) and works as a plumbing designer at McKenneys LLC. With more than 20 years of combined experience in the plumbing industry, starting as an apprentice plumber and progressing to a foreman before shifting into an engineering position, he currently designs plumbing systems that are fully coordinated with the architectural and structural elements of the building in addition to the other building trades. He has served as vice president of legislation for the Charlotte Chapter of ASPE for four years, where he is responsible for planning and executing the chapter programs related to codes and ordinances to keep chapter membership up to date. He also serves on the ASPE Legislative Committee and is an ASSE member.
Jonathan W. Wilson
Jonathan W. Wilson, MPP, currently serves as deputy director, chief financial officer, director of research of the National Center for Healthy Housing where he has worked for 30 years. His current work includes an assessment of the effects of energy efficiency and ventilation on resident health and methods to protect residents from radon exposure. He has also led NCHH’s work on clean-up and recovery following flooding. Wilson has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed research manuscripts evaluating assessment tools and mitigation of housing hazards.
In addition to the creation of the Pandemic Task Force Committee, four working groups — the Architectural–Structural Working Group (AS), the Fire-Safety Working Group (FS), the Mechanical–Plumbing–Electrical Working Group (MPE) and the Remote Operations Working Group (OPS) — were established comprised of pandemic task force members, other interested parties and Code Council staff.
Architectural–Structural Working Group
The Architectural–Structural Working Group conducts research and reviews current codes and standards, code change proposals under consideration for future codes and standards, and current published information related to the effects of pandemics on the built environment.
Working Group Members — Pandemic Task Force: Jatinder Khokhar (chair), Dave Collins (vice chair), Esber Andiroglu, Chad Beebe, John Catlett, China Clarke, Stephen Garvin, Geoff Hanmer, Tara Henderson, Niki Lemin, Tom Peterson, Jason Root, John Steele, Adil Tamimi and Jonathan Wilson.
Working Group Members — Interested Parties: Zainul Abedeen, Gary Ehrlich, Ali M. Fattah, Ray Fox, Pete Goodrich, Rod Hughes, Chris Jensen, Gene Novak, Michael Nuth, Harvey Schwager, Richard Tannahill and Felix Zemel.
Working Group Members — Architectural Lead: Harvey Schwager.
Working Group Members — Structural Lead: Gary Ehrlich.
Working Group Members — ICC Staff Liaisons: Neil Burning, Susan Dowty and Sandra Hyde.
Fire-Safety Working Group
The Fire-Safety Working Group conducts research and reviews current codes, proposed code changes, non-code-related issues, existing guides and other information, best practices, and public information materials.
Working Group Members — Pandemic Task Force: Elizabeth Bednarcik (chair), Ted Black (vice chair), Chad Beebe, John Catlett, China Clarke, Steve Ericson, Bryan Holland, Jatinder Khokhar, Niki Lemin, Tom Peterson, John Steele, Adil Tamimi and Tim Washington.
Working Group Members — Interested Parties: Rick Heffernan, Rod Hughes, Chris Jensen, Cesar Lujan, Rodger Reiswig, Paul Taft, Nadja Tremblay, Gary West, Hassan Younes and Felix Zemel.
Working Group Members — ICC Staff Liaisons: Karl Fippinger.
Mechanical–Plumbing–Electrical Working Group
The Mechanical–Plumbing–Electrical Working Group conducts research on the effects of pandemics on mechanical system designs in the built environment and researches and reviews current codes and standards, code change proposals under consideration for future codes and standards, and current published information related to the effects of pandemics on the built environment.
Working Group Members — Pandemic Task Force: Eli P. Howard (chair), Bryan Holland (vice chair), Esber Andiroglu, John Catlett, Steve Ericson, Jonathan Flannery, Geoff Hanmer, Jatinder Khokhar, Niki Lemin, Tom Peterson, Matt Sigler, John Steele, Tim Washington and Jonathan Wilson.
Working Group Members — Interested Parties: Dan Buuck, Alastair Chapman, Jon Crittenden, Rebecca Fugitt, Tara Henderson, Chris Jensen, Robert Maglievaz, Matthew Peacock Jason Root, Shawn Smitter, Paul Taft, Nadja Tremblay, Hassan Younes and Ted Williams.
Working Group Members — ICC Staff Liaisons: Mark Roberts and Jim Cika.
Remote Operations Working Group
The Remote Operations Working Group identifies policies and procedures to allow businesses and buildings to reopen and operate safely, identifies issues and solutions that can be implemented as code adoption changes as well as prior to code adoption changes, modifies codes to make buildings healthier for the occupant from threats caused by the pandemic or other health threats, and highlights successful policies that can be shared nationally.
Working Group Members — Pandemic Task Force: Larry Lynch (chair), Anthony Santiago (vice chair), Elizabeth Bednarcik, John Catlett, Jonathan Flannery, Niki Lemin, Tom Peterson, Adil Tamimi and Jonathan Wilson.
Working Group Members — Interested Parties: Tara Henderson and Chris Jensen.
Working Group Members — ICC Staff Liaisons: Stephen Jones (ICC) and Doug Farquhar (NEHA).
All meetings are open to the public and all information — including meeting agendas and minutes, rosters, and related documents — will be posted online.
Many jurisdictions have already developed guidelines and policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Code Council has been tracking these efforts and provides a compilation of resources for the building industry at its Coronavirus Response Center.