Hundreds of building safety professionals from across the U.S. and around the world gathered to learn, to network and to participate in the Public Comment Hearings to consider proposed changes to the Group A International Codes during the International Code Council Annual Conference, Public Comment Hearings and Expo held Oct. 21–29, in Richmond, Va. The second in the 2018 Group A cycle, the hearings saw action on more than 340 code changes during the six days in Richmond.

A number of code change proposals were considered this year that addressed a wide range of topics, including tall wood buildings, exterior walls, combustibility of exterior wall finishes, fire safety during construction, sprinklers required in larger open parking garages, multi-user bathrooms, automatic doors at all accessible entrances, trash valet services, exit stairways in atriums, occupied roofs, rainwater storage systems, artificial decorative vegetation, intermodal shipping containers, energy storage systems, A2L and B2L refrigerants, and more.

This year’s electronic voting process and system were very successful. Starting on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, through Monday morning, Oct. 29, 2018, typical hearing days averaged 11 hours, for a total of 47 hours total of actual hearing time.



Advocacy guidelines for the code hearings

Five big takeaways from the Committee Action Hearings

Committee action hearings recap


The next phase

As we prepare to move into the next phase of the 2018/2019 code development cycle, here are some dates and information to keep in mind.

  • Official Public Comment Hearing results are now available online.
  • The Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV) will open on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, and close on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific. With the electronic voting devices, votes cast at the public comment hearings will be automatically transferred to the OGCV such that the public comment hearings voter need not vote again.
  • The unofficial OGCV results will be available approximately two weeks after conclusion of the OGCV.
  • The online posting of the final action Group A results, including OGCV results, will occur following the Validation Committee’s certification of the OGCV and report to the Code Council Board of Directors (see Section 10.0 of CP28 Code Development).
  • The Group B deadline for code proposals is Jan. 7, 2019. cdpACCESS is up and ready to receive submittals, with many proposals already submitted and others in the system and still in development. Click here to view the schedule for the Group B codes.
  • With the completion of the 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), Group B codes now include a new code — IgCC Chapter 1. For this code, submittals are limited to the administrative provisions of Chapter 1 of the 2018 IgCC.

The hearing videos for the Group A 2018 Public Comment Hearings are now available online.

For those needing help on how to use the ICC Hearing Video Site, click here for instructions on searching, viewing and downloading.

The International Codes are a family of 15 coordinated, modern building safety codes used throughout the world that protect against disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse. The Group A Codes considered in Richmond include the International Building Code (egress, fire safety, general); International Fire Code; International Fuel Gas Code; International Mechanical Code; International Plumbing Code; International Property Maintenance Code; International Private Sewage Disposal Code; International Residential Code (mechanical, plumbing); International Swimming Pool and Spa Code; International Wildland-Urban Interface Code; and International Zoning Code.

The Code Council’s code development process will take two years (2018 Group A and 2019 Group B), resulting in the 2021 editions of the International Codes. To learn the basics of the code development process, check out our video, which is a good primer for those new to the process and explains ICC’s cloud-based system for the code development process, cdpACCESS. Download a PowerPoint about the code development process. Download infographics about the process: How It Works and By the Numbers.

Advocacy and the code development cycle

The Code Council is the impartial convener of the code development process. Our job is to ensure a transparent process and to provide a space for balanced debate and deliberation on code change proposals. To that end, the Code Council has advocacy guidelines and procedures to guarantee a fair process. We rely on participants in this process to uphold themselves and their colleagues to the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behavior. To read our Code of Ethics, click here.

It has come to our attention that a number of Code Council members have received unsolicited email referencing code change proposals from the Public Comment Hearings. The Code Council does not provide contact lists to outside organizations; we do not sell or rent our membership list. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Senior Vice President of ICC Technical Services Mike Pfeiffer.