Enhancing the Resiliency of America’s Communities
ICC Supporting and Participating in White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes
With a 100-year history of developing model codes and standards used in the design, construction and compliance process for buildings and other facilities, the International Code Council (ICC) is supporting and participating in the White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes today, May 10, in Washington, D.C. The conference is highlighting the critical role of building codes in furthering community resilience and the importance of incorporating the future impacts of climate change into the code and standards development process.
President Obama declared May as National Building Safety Month in order to recognize and pay tribute to those who ensure the safety and resilience of the nation’s buildings, and to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to upholding and abiding by strong and effective building safety standards.
“Research proves that investments in prevention and mitigation pay enormous dividends for communities before, during and—most notably—after disasters when recovery begins,” said ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO, who will be a panelist during the summit. “As the White House and members of the building industry bring increased attention to the important role codes and standards play in achieving a resilient nation, the Code Council is renewing its commitment to helping build safer and more affordable communities across the U.S. and around the globe.”
“The International Codes are currently used at the local or jurisdictional level in all 50 states, federal agencies, U.S. territories, and in other countries,” added ICC Board of Directors President Alex Olszowy, III, with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government in Lexington, Ky. “While these efforts should be applauded, they also should send a signal to other jurisdictions that it’s time to take public safety and community resilience to another level.”
In addition to reaffirming its long-term commitment to producing future generations of building codes and standards that incorporate the latest in science and technology, the Code Council is renewing its support of advancing resilience through the following activities:
- Continuing to participate in and fund national studies and research on the benefits of strong building codes as related to resilience, including the National Institute of Building Sciences’ (NIBS) Multihazard Mitigation Council report, “National Hazard Mitigation Saves: An Independent Study to Assess the Future Savings from Mitigation Activities.” ICC is pledging $100,000 to fund the update of this report to study the benefits of public and private investment in pre-disaster mitigation activities, such as application of current model building codes.
- Refining and modernizing code provisions through ICC’s open and inclusive code development process, and educating policymakers and the public on resilience subjects such as disaster preparedness, energy efficiency, water quality and conservation, and wildfire prevention that are addressed by the International Codes.
- Continuing serving, along with industry partners including NIBS and the American Institute of Architects, with the Resilience Building Coalition that is representing the $1 trillion design and construction industry to improve resilience in the nation’s communities. “Preparing to Thrive: The Building Industry Statement on Resilience” reflects the progress the coalition has made prioritizing resilience across the built environment.
- Continuing co-chairing and supporting the Coalition for Current Safety Codes which works with local and state governments to update their building codes.
- Pledging to work with industry partners to facilitate the use of the newest, safest, and most efficient technologies and materials through product evaluation and certification.
- And co-leading an effort to organize an inclusive nationwide coalition to create and develop the country’s first Whole-Community Resilience Report Framework.
“ICC and its partners plan to engage a broad-based group of stakeholders to make the community resilience report framework as palatable, constructive, and inclusive as possible,” Sims explained. “The framework should reflect the strengths and weaknesses of a community, its trajectory, and its ability to positively respond to and rapidly recover from disruptive events.”
Collaboration is the key, according to noted emergency management expert James Lee Witt, who served as Director of FEMA during the Clinton Administration and is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Code Council. “With 85 percent of the nation’s critical infrastructure owned by the private sector, community resilience is really a matter of diverse private and public organizations working together,” Witt said. “Public leaders and elected officials should be reaching out to the private sector seeking solutions, and one of the most effective ways to start is the adoption and enforcement of building codes and standards, which provide a strong foundation for safety and protection.”
For more information on the Code Council’s resources available to assist jurisdictions, manufacturers and the public with building resiliency, please go to http://www.iccsafe.org/about-icc/safety/resiliency/.
About the International Code Council
The International Code Council is a member-focused association. It is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.