Government and Industry Representatives Advocate for Adoption and Enforcement of Building Codes
At a hearing last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, government and industry officials testified about the importance of the adoption and enforcement of building codes developed through consensus processes, such as the International Code Council’s International Codes (I-Codes). The hearing held by the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management of the House Committee on Infrastructure and Transportation was in support of H.R. 2069, the Safe Building Code Incentive Act. The legislation aims to provide states with additional disaster relief funding in exchange for adopting and enforcing updated building codes.
Among those supporting the codes system and code officials was David Miller, Associate Administrator of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration. Miller advocated on behalf of the Code Council’s governmental consensus process that is used in the ongoing development of the I-Codes, the most widely adopted and enforced building codes in the United States.
“Development of the I-Codes is based on a proven system of providing for public safety by allowing all interested and affected parties to participate in code creation,” Miller told members of the subcommittee. “The I-Codes governmental consensus process is an open, balanced and inclusive code development procedure. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies participate in this process as a means to satisfy the National Technology Transfer Act, which directs federal agencies to utilize voluntary private sector consensus codes and standards.”
Other representatives testifying in support of H.R. 2069 included Julie Rochman, Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. “Every region of our country is vulnerable to one or more potentially devastating natural hazards, which is why improving disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery must be a national priority,” she said. “H.R. 2069 is important legislation that provides a vehicle to put scientific knowledge about the proven benefits of building codes to work, which will significantly improve our nation’s safety and resilience.”
The Code Council is working with the BuildStrong Coalition to support H.R. 2069. Among those testifying on behalf of the Coalition was Chief Hank Clemmensen of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Clemmensen emphasized the importance of adopting model codes without weakening amendments, saying, “The fire and emergency services know that model commercial and residential building and fire codes will help prevent the tragic loss caused by extreme weather and natural disasters.”
“This bill is a top priority on ICC’s legislative agenda and a piece of our overall effort to help our Members achieve their professional goals,” said Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland. “At a time when some are questioning whether the effort to keep safety codes current is too costly, natural disasters remind us that the cost of failing to rely on the best science and expertise to update our construction standards is even higher. Adopting current codes provides our communities with the full benefit of the work dedicated code officials, building professionals, and the public do to develop, implement and enforce the modern safety practices.”
For more information on H.R. 2069, click here to access the Code Council’s Legislative Action Center.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association dedicated to helping the building safety community and construction industry provide safe and sustainable construction through the development of codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process. Most U.S. communities and many global markets choose the International Codes.