ICC Members: Shaping the safety of the world around us — Joaquin Campa
Code professionals ensure building safety today, for a stronger tomorrow. As the individuals behind modern codes and standards, these professionals are responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of codes and standards, shaping the safety of the world around us, and serve as the safety foundation for our buildings. They don’t just ensure that buildings are constructed to withstand the stress of everyday use, they are behind the security and stability of every building. They specialize in preventative measures to help communities weather unforeseen natural disasters and ensure that first responders have less to worry about and can do their jobs safely. Code professionals are an essential piece in the building and construction puzzle and are engaged in the building process from the initial building plan to the finished product.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association with over 64,000 members dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. They protect the public through their commitment to building safety; enforce code compliance to empower and educate stakeholders across the built environment to embrace and integrate safety standards in their work; support economic development by making our buildings sturdier, and therefore longer lasting. Their knowledge, skills, and abilities impact every building, in every community.
The Code Council recognizes the importance of continuing to grow awareness of the important work that code professionals do and the impact they have, in the hopes of encouraging aspiring building safety professionals to join in on the building safety movement. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Joaquin Campa to share his experience in the industry, highlights of his professional career, and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry and the future of building safety.
San Luis, Arizona, United States
International Code Council member for six years
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
Campa: In the beginning, I was a laborer in my father’s construction company. I then became a framing supervisor for the company. At that point, I was involved and interacted with the building inspectors of different jurisdictions in our area and it became a goal for me to learn in-depth about building codes. I then had an opportunity to work within my city as a Building Inspector. With that in mind and motivating myself to learn more about the building code, I have pursued my advancement to become a Building Plans Examiner and currently a Building Official.
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
Campa: Three very important things I believe are needed to become successful in this industry are good ethics, dedication, and willingness to learn.
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
Campa: In my career, I have had great and very knowledgeable mentors that have influenced me both directly and indirectly. Directly was a Building Inspector for the City that I currently work with, Mr. Starkey. Mr. Starkey was my first mentor in this field and he assisted me in obtaining very good and strong roots that I have applied to the building code to the best of my knowledge. Indirectly are all the instructors of the professional development courses I have attended, especially Mr. Steve Thomas from Denver, CO.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
Campa: Our jurisdiction has promoted that our staff is certified, therefore our department decided it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of becoming an ICC member. One of the benefits we obtain is the courses that are offered to widen our knowledge of the building code.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
Campa: I am not involved in any of the ICC committees or councils at this time, but I would like the opportunity to become involved. My current ICC certifications are Building Plans Examiner, Building Inspector, Residential Building Inspector, Commercial Building Inspector, Building Codes and Standards Module, and Management Module which are part of my process to complete my Building Official certification.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Campa: 15 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Campa: The major changes I have seen were brought up after the 9/11 events. At that time I wasn’t an inspector, but I had the opportunity to read the building codes before and after the 9/11 events. All in all the building codes are and will always be applied for the same purpose of protecting the welfare of the occupants of the buildings.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Campa: I am very passionate when it deals with the building codes and their application. As a building inspector, I do my best to promote this and apply the building codes to the best of my knowledge, and with a lot of dedication. It would make me very excited to know that building inspectors take their profession this seriously and have as much passion for the well-being of their communities.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Campa: One very important piece of advice would be for them to conduct themselves in a very professional way.
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
Campa: The most surprising thing I have seen is the constant changes to the provisions of the building code because of negligence.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
Campa: I would like to become a Building Code Instructor.
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Campa: Camping outdoors and spend time with family.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
Campa: Hard Work and Perseverance
There’s a world of opportunity in being a member of the International Code Council. Membership provides the tools to get the most out of each workday: from discounts on essential International Codes and other publications to the best prices on top-quality training and ICC certification renewals, Code Council membership helps budgets go further. Exclusive member benefits include code advice from expert technical staff as well as access to member-exclusive news and articles at the Building Safety Journal news portal. Plus, only Code Council members vote in the ICC code development process. An online Career Center allows job postings and searches for new job opportunities — all at no additional charge.
The Code Council offers numerous councils, committees, and resources to help code professionals grow and network with colleagues. Six discipline-specific Membership Councils offer members a place to come together and be a more powerful force in shaping your association, your industry, your career, and your future. Code Development Committees are an instrumental part of the ICC code development process and are responsible for the review and evaluation of code change proposals submitted to the International Codes. Professional Development Committees serve to better align the ICC education programs and certification programs to ensure that quality training is available to meet the needs of all members, customers and certification holders. Finally, the Value of the Code Official toolkit helps members to heighten awareness of the importance of code officials to their communities and to highlight the code official’s role as a helpful advocate for community safety, health and welfare, and economic development.