Code Council receives Commerce Department grant to support publication and implementation of Gulf building codes
The International Code Council received formal notification that it is the recipient of the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) grant to partially underwrite the work that the Code Council will undertake with the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO) to publish a suite of regional model building codes. The grant is a major show of support for the work undertaken by the GSO since that organization entered into an agreement with the Code Council in 2016 to begin work developing the unified Gulf Building Code.
The work to develop the Gulf Building Code has been underway for the past four years, involving stakeholders based in all Gulf Cooperation Council member states, and the development process is now in its final stages. The GSO relied heavily on the 2018 Saudi Building Code, which is based on the 2015 International Codes. The MDCP grant will enable the Code Council to provide substantial support to the GSO to publish the codes in print and electronic versions, as well as develop training and certification programs specific to the Gulf Code to enable its implementation and effective use. Once implemented, the Gulf Building Code will support the harmonization of building practices, enhance safety and facilitate commerce in the region.
The Code Council has deepened its cooperation with the GSO over the past year, particularly through the establishment of its global office in Dubai to serve the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The two organizations have pledged further collaboration in the area of building safety, which includes capacity building, education, public outreach, knowledge sharing, and the development and harmonization of standards and technical regulations. This project to aid publication and capacity building related to the Gulf Building Code will substantially advance the collaboration of the two groups and promote access to and use of advanced international standards in the construction industry.
The Gulf Building Code is a family of consistent and coordinated codes that will reference over a thousand international standards and will promote sustainability and affordability in commercial construction and housing. The use of the Gulf Building Code will also support the use of new technologies such as 3D printing, off-site construction and those that promote the improved energy performance of buildings.
“The Code Council is excited to have the support of the U.S. government through the International Trade Administration’s Market Development Cooperator Program to advance our work with our partners at the Gulf Standardization Organization,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “We have identified the MENA region as a priority region for our global focus, and launching a regional code is a huge step forward in advancing harmonized building safety efforts.”
GSO President H.E. Mr. Saud Al-Khuasaibi emphasized the importance of global and regional cooperation in standardization efforts. “Providing a model building code based on strong, advanced international standards for all GCC members and stakeholders in the region to reference is strictly aligned with the mission of the GSO. We welcome the support and partnership from the Code Council and U.S. International Trade Administration to advance the publication and rollout of the Gulf Building Code.”