2021 President’s Report reveals a successful, stronger, more resilient association
Looking back on two years of solid financial growth and success during 2020 and 2021, International Code Council President Greg Wheeler, CBO, told Annual Business Meeting attendees that the association has done much during the past two years to prepare for the future of our individual members, association, communities and the world as he presented the annual President’s Report. “We are consistently assessing the landscape to ensure the Code Council is best positioned to not only succeed but overachieve and grow stronger,” said Wheeler while presenting the annual report. “While the past two years have not been easy, I can definitively say that we, as an industry, are stronger than ever before. True to our mission of creating safe, affordable and sustainable buildings, we too have become more resilient as a result of the pandemic.”
“The pandemic did not stop us from being a prominent leader in building safety. We have proactively ensured that our members have the adequate tools, resources and knowledge needed to fulfill their responsibilities through these challenging times,” said Wheeler. “Things may not be back to ‘normal,’ but as we’ve shown over the past months, we’ll continue to support our members and stakeholders in whatever capacity is needed and to be the guiding voice for the building safety industry.”
Below are Wheeler’s full remarks during the Annual Business Meeting on Sept. 20, 2021, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
While the past two years have not been easy, I can definitively say that we, as an industry, are stronger than ever before. True to our mission of creating safe, affordable and sustainable buildings, we too have become more resilient as a result of the pandemic.
The pandemic did not stop us from being a prominent leader in building safety. We have proactively ensured that our members have the adequate tools, resources and knowledge needed to fulfill their responsibilities through these challenging times.
From the beginning of this pandemic, we understood the importance the building industry would play in keeping society safe. Through our advocacy, building safety professionals were declared essential by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security early on. This has allowed each of you to continue your vital work, ensuring our homes and buildings continue to be safe havens within our communities.
Recognizing that both society and building safety were rapidly changing and the industry needed to adapt to the new normal, we remain committed to ensuring that building safety professionals around the world are supported.
We conducted a survey at the onset of the pandemic. We found that the majority of building departments surveyed were still performing inspections, but that six in 10 did not have the capabilities to carry out critical functions remotely.
Through initiatives like our Coronavirus Response Center, we offered a series of resources to help building safety professionals navigate the pandemic. This included documents that outlined important considerations and potential solutions for building safety departments related to permitting, plan review, inspections and the codes.
However, we knew if we were going to promote a digital-first strategy for the industry, we needed to lead by example. Therefore, continuing to build our own virtual capabilities, the April 2021 Committee Action Hearings were conducted virtually for the first time in our organization’s history.
Following the success of our virtual appeals, we were able to incorporate key lessons learned into a virtual framework for our Committee Action Hearings.
While we provided the option for staff, moderators and committee members to gather at a central location for the duration of the hearings, speaking participants and those interested in listening to the proceedings were able to join virtually. Additionally, as done in previous years, the hearings were available to view for free through a live stream.
Keeping the needs of our members at the core of everything we do and actively listening to their point-of-view, we also reincorporated to Delaware. This move provides greater flexibility to act when needed during an emergency.
We did not stop there.
Given the growth of the organization, the Code Council’s 2025 strategic plan, and the changing world around us, this year’s Bylaws Committee conducted the first comprehensive review of our bylaws since their creation.
The committee was charged with evaluating potential amendments that would be prudent and in the best interests of the organization and worked meticulously throughout the year to develop recommended amendments for the board and membership’s consideration.
To help in this task, we appointed the following three ex-officio members from the Emerging Leaders Membership Council to serve on the committee: Elizabeth Arrington of Kentucky, Andre Jaen of Colorado and Benjamin Breadmore of Maine. These three brought invaluable perspective to the committee’s efforts and we are very grateful for their service.
As a result of its hard work, the committee developed two board-submitted bylaw proposals, which we will be taking action on later this morning.
In tandem, we also continued to focus on the development of the International Codes (I-Codes), specifically the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
As more jurisdictions have placed a priority on creating sustainable and resilient communities, many have set strong targets to reduce the energy use and greenhouse gases associated with commercial and residential buildings.
Recognizing the essential role energy codes play in reaching those goals and having clearly heard the feedback from the building safety community, we released a new framework to assist governments and building industry stakeholders.
This framework includes using the Code Council’s standards development process to update the IECC.
According to the final determination recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy, the residential provisions of the 2021 IECC provide a 9.4-percent improvement in energy use and an 8.7-percent improvement in carbon emissions over the 2018 IECC, saving homeowners an average of $2,320 over the life of a typical mortgage.
Future editions of the IECC will only continue to build on prior successes allowing the IECC to remain a strong framework for communities to reach their energy efficiency and sustainability goals globally.
Building safety is a global concern.
Following the publication of the CARICOM Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code, we are starting to see several countries moving towards the adoption of both that specific code as well as other base I-Codes. We are working actively with officials in Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica on plans to adopt and implement I-Codes-based building codes.
In the MENA region, we are fostering use and increased understanding of the International Building Code through training programs and encouraging the acceptance of ICC Evaluation Service evaluation reports in Dubai. In Saudi Arabia, we’ve launched online training programs for the Saudi Building Code.
Additionally, we’re continuing to work on code implementation and enforcement tools in Bangladesh, and we have worked with the Republic of Marshall Islands to create a custom building code.
Throughout the world, the Code Council is more actively promoting our family of solutions and leading initiatives that expand our building safety mission.
We are consistently assessing the landscape to ensure the Code Council is best positioned to not only succeed but overachieve and grow stronger.
Things may not be back to “normal,” but as we’ve shown over the past months, we’ll continue to support our members and stakeholders in whatever capacity is needed and to be the guiding voice for the building safety industry.