ICC Members: Shaping the safety of the world around us — Matt Hulcher
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 Matt Hulcher 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.
Regional Practice Leader
KCI Technologies, Inc.
Fulton, Maryland, United States
International Code Council member for 7 years
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
Hulcher: Somewhat hap and circumstance. In summary: was an undecided engineering major; a friend convinced me to check out Fire Protection Engineering, and let’s be honest, what young man wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to get paid to play with fire?
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
Hulcher: Excellent reading comprehension and writing skills, an understanding that design is an imperfect science and great mentors.
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
Hulcher: While the individuals have varied, they have been a constant throughout my career. They have taught me concepts, guided me through difficult situations, and provided input for decisions. Having input from individuals different from yourself is key to making well-informed decisions.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
Hulcher: Aside from maybe NFPA, ICC is the gold standard for rules and guidelines for the built environment.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
Hulcher: Not at this time.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Hulcher: 21 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Hulcher: Fire alarm went through a major transition to incorporate principles of mass notification. Cybersecurity threats also continue to redefine our industry.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Hulcher: The evolution of the design process and workflow. Adoption of new technology and AI to improve the accuracy, coordination, and efficiency of design.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Hulcher: Find and embrace your passion. If you can find something you’re passionate about in your field, you WILL BE successful.
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
Hulcher: Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, but I’m surprised at how quickly I and many of my peers have risen from entry-level engineers trying to find our way through projects and our careers to leading and guiding new grads on their journeys.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
Hulcher: Get more involved with professional societies and mentoring of young professionals and students.
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Hulcher: Spending time with family; home renovation projects; sailing; shooting; camping, and getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day life (including cell phones).
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
Hulcher: Finding Your Passion
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.