Caribbean looks to Code Council for regional building code support
In March, the CARICOM Secretariat Energy Unit and the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) launched the CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (CREEBC), based on the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE Standard 90.1. The release of this code was the culmination of years of intensive work led by CROSQ and involving all 15 Caribbean member states, with strong support from the International Code Council. It is an example of the type of regional building code that the Code Council is hoping to promote in regions with similar needs for building safety and resilience based on climate, natural hazard risks, infrastructure and commonly used construction materials.
The process that CROSQ undertook to gain buy-in from all stakeholder countries was intense, involving the appointment of a delegate and alternate from the standards body of each CARICOM member nation, ensuring that all members could participate in a technical committee that met regularly over the course of a year to finalize the standard that would be adopted and adapted. The first technical meeting was held only after the release of a report from a consultancy that spent 18 months evaluating which model building code would be most applicable for the region. The strong national-to-regional coordination embodied in the CROSQ process was most evident when the CARICOM members voted overwhelmingly to accept the CREEBC as a regional code.
The Code Council has been invited by CROSQ to meet with their leadership to discuss further engagement in the region, which is in support of the Code Council’s global engagement plan. To facilitate the meeting, the ICC board will hold its December board meeting and workshop in Barbados, where CROSQ is headquartered. Concurrent with the meeting, the Code Council, along with partners in the region — including ASTM International, ASHRAE and the World Bank — intends to celebrate CROSQ’s formidable achievement in releasing the CREEBC. Discussions are underway about training and certification programs that will help CARICOM members to build the capacity required to successfully implement the CREEBC, as well as to potentially use the successful CREEBC development process to adapt the International Building Code as the next regional building code for the Caribbean. CROSQ is also reviewing the ICC/SRCC 900 standard, which is referenced in the CREEBC, for potential use in the region.