ICC Members: The individuals behind codes and safety — Aubrey Grant
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 Aubrey Grant 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.
Washington NW, DC, United States
International Code Council member for four years
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
Grant: I’m an architect. It is a part of my responsibility.
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
Grant: Strong code knowledge or understanding. Attention to detail. Good interpersonal skills.
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
Grant: They have allowed me to vent, given solid business advice to help me grow the company, shared ideas, helped resolve industry-related questions, and provided staffing guidance.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
Grant: It made sense for the company, especially as it pertains to helping interpret codes that we may not be familiar with. Or for clarification with clients and sometimes building officials.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
Grant: No. However, I did participate in Washington, D.C.’s review of the 2012 building code for their local amendment.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Grant: 22 years.
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Grant: More fragmentation of the industry. Contractors appear less knowledgeable. Some code consolidation and some more restrictive codes have actually caused construction costs to increase, making construction more unaffordable.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Grant: The growing acceptance of heavy timber framing.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Grant: To have the tenacity and a desire to learn and contribute to their teams. Get as much exposure to all aspects of the job and really pay attention and see if you can understand from other people’s perspectives.
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
Grant: How often people try to overcomplicate simple things.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
Grant: Product tester or a computer programmer.
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Grant: Playing and watching soccer, bike riding, and traveling.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
Grant: “Quiet Determination”
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.