Farragut and Knoxville to adopt the 2018 IBC
While the state of Tennessee is currently examining the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) — and anticipates the adoption of all the International Codes later this year — the town of Farragut and the city of Knoxville are now adopting the 2018 IBC as mandated by the state. Tennessee municipalities have seven years to adopt the most recently published edition of the code, but Farragut’s new Building Official Karl Swierzko says the town plans to make the change now because the updated code is streamlined and shouldn’t have a major impact on developers and contractors. Swierzko held a workshop for the Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen to discuss the update and relate the benefits of a residential building code, such as the following:
- Homes built to a residential code are safer.
- Reputable home builders benefit from having standards that apply to all contractors and enforcement of those standards.
- Codes help identify mistakes before they’ve been concealed by further construction, making corrections less costly and the building process more efficient.
- Homes built to a modern code save 30 to 50 percent in energy costs, and appraisals of energy-efficient homes could be higher than those that are not energy efficient.
- Codes mandate proper disposal of waste and help protect the environment.
- New homeowners in cities with codes that are enforced may receive a discount on homeowner’s insurance.
- Homes constructed with a higher standard may suffer less damage in a storm.
Better fire protection is another benefit of strong building codes, says Farragut Fire Marshal Dan Johnson. “Continuous adoption of progressive building and fire codes has directly resulted in a reduction in fire loss,” explained Johnson. “Codes also impact Insurance Services Office ratings, which determine insurance rates. A lower score means a service meets higher standards, and Farragut has an excellent ISO rating of 3.”
A recent study by the National Institute of Building Sciences found that adopting the 2018 International Codes generates a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested. The study also found that the national mitigation benefit-cost ratio associated with code adoption is $6 to $1 for floods, $10 to $1 for hurricanes, and $12 to $1 for earthquakes, with benefits coming through avoided casualties, post-traumatic stress, property damage, business interruptions and insurance premiums. The results show that all building stakeholders benefit from regularly updated codes – from developers, titleholders and lenders, to tenants and communities. Additionally, designing buildings to meet the 2018 International Residential Code and 2018 International Building Code — the model building safety codes developed by the International Code Council, which are the most widely used and adopted set of codes in the world — create jobs and minimize insurance premiums and business interruptions following natural disasters.
The Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted on the adoption of the updated code on March 28, 2019, and again on April 11, 2019, following a second reading, and has approved adoption of the 2018 International Residential, Mechanical, Plumbing, Fuel Gas, Energy Conservation, Property Maintenance, Swimming Pool and Spa, and Existing Building Codes later this year.