Clark County, Wash., Building Safety Campaign Earns Code Council Raising the Profile Award
A public campaign that promotes the importance of permits and the work building code professionals do to save lives and protect property is the recipient of the International Code Council 2011 Raising the Profile Award. The Clark County (Wash.) Building Safety Program earned the award, which recognizes contributions that raise public awareness of the role code enforcement officials play in public safety. The Clark County Building Safety Program is a charter member of the Think Permit outreach program.
Code Council Board President Jimmy Brothers presented the award to Clark County Chief Building Official Jim Muir at the Code Council’s annual Building Safety Month reception at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
“For five years the Clark County Building Safety trailer has brought examples of good and bad construction and interactive displays and tools to neighborhoods. Their reputation has spurred other jurisdictions to observe their work and to improve their own programs,” Brothers said.
“At least twice a year for the last five years we have taken our custom trailer and set up our Think Permit booth that has good/bad construction displays and combined it with an activity for children and their parents,” Muir said. “The activities over the years… have included building birdhouses, craft crates, room signs, growth sticks and a rubber ducky toss. We have taken ‘boring’ out of a governmental booth and made it an event while promoting the work and importance of building code professionals.”
Innovation and forward thinking exemplify the County’s commitment to the building safety profession despite losing 75 percent of its staff due to the economy. Clark County was one of the first jurisdictions in the Northwest to incorporate laptop computers into field inspections and established a comprehensive disaster response plan that includes training. County officials plan to launch an energy-efficiency services program and are partnering with public and private entities to build a walk-through trailer to promote building safety, sustainability and energy efficiency. The name of the new program is PlanetClark.com. It is expected to be on the road during May, which is Building Safety Month.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.