Written Comments on IECC Now Posted

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Written Comments on IECC Now Posted

Registration has closed to testify or provide written comments to the International Code Council Board of Directors related to the International Energy Conservation Code.

In total, 55 individuals registered to testify, and 200 written comments were received by the deadline. The Code Council Board is meeting on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at 12:00 PM ET. The total time allotted for verbal testimony is two hours; each individual will have two minutes to provide their comments. The order will be alphabetical by organization or last name for those without a company affiliation.

Written comments are available at www.iccsafe.org/iecc-development-process.

Although registration to speak is now closed, anyone who wants to listen in may do so by registering here.

Please direct additional questions to Mike Pfeiffer, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, at mpfeiffer@iccsafe.org.

Legislation enacted to ensure carbon monoxide safety for federally assisted properties

Washington, D.C. – On December 27, 2020, the President signed into law new legislation that authorizes $304 million in funds for carbon monoxide detectors in federally assisted housing. The legislation ensures that carbon monoxide alarms are installed in a manner that meets the standards described in the Code Council’s 2018 International Fire Code.

The legislation is based on the Carbon Monoxide Alarms Leading Every Resident to Safety Act (CO ALERTS Act), which was introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL), Joe Cunningham (D-SC), and in the Senate by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Robert Mendez (D-NJ). U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson offered his support shortly after the bill’s introduction.

The bill requires that by the end of 2022 federally assisted housing have carbon monoxide alarms in units that have potential sources of carbon monoxide such as gas-fired appliances, fireplaces, forced air furnaces, and attached garages. Carbon monoxide alarms will also be required in rural housing. Additionally, HUD will provide guidance to public housing agencies to help them educate tenants on potential housing health hazards such as carbon monoxide poisoning and lead poisoning. In 2019, there were many reports  of deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in public housing complexes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50,000 people are sickened by carbon monoxide annually, resulting in 430 deaths. Of the approximately 5 million families that receive HUD rental assistance, most have young children, are elderly, or disabled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states that carbon monoxide poisoning is entirely preventable and recommends installing carbon monoxide alarms.

“We are excited to see that the International Fire Code is being used to inform legislation that will have a crucial impact on safety in the home,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “We are proud to do our part in making homes safer for every member of society, especially the most vulnerable.”

For more information on the Code Council and the International Fire Code, please visit www.iccsafe.org.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

Development of the 2024 International Codes begins this week

Washington, D.C. – The deadline to submit proposed changes to the 2024 International Codes (I-Codes), Group A, is Monday, January 11, 2021, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. All interested parties must submit their proposals through the code development website, cdpACCESS.

The I-Codes – developed by the International Code Council – are a family of fifteen coordinated, modern building safety codes and standards used throughout the world that protect against disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse. The code change submission process marks the beginning of the code development process for the 2024 I-Codes. This process takes place every three years and is open, transparent and inclusive. All interested parties are encouraged to participate by submitting a code change proposal, testifying at the code hearings or applying for a position with a Code Development Committee.

The Group A Codes include the International Building Code (IBC-Egress, IBC-Fire Safety, IBC-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 (IRC-Mechanical, IRC-Plumbing); International Swimming Pool and Spa Code; International Wildland-Urban Interface Code; and International Zoning Code.

After the code change proposals are submitted, expert committees will consider the proposed changes for recommendation at the virtual Committee Action Hearings scheduled for April 11 through May 5, 2021. The hearings offer code officials, architects, builders, engineers, designers, contractors and other interested parties the opportunity to provide input on proposed code changes to the Group A codes. In advance of the hearings, the Code Council will release the hearing schedule and post proposed code changes on Monday, March 1.

Additional resources:

  • To submit a code change proposal, visit cdpACCESS.com. Anyone can submit a code change, but registration is required. Registration is free and only takes a few minutes.
  • For more information about cdpACCESS, visit iccsafe.org/cdpaccess.
  • Questions about the Virtual Committee Action Hearings? Read our frequently asked questions webpage.
  • Download infographic about the process: How It Works.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

Provide your thoughts about the IECC

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Provide your thoughts about the IECC

The International Code Council Board of Directors is considering updating the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Ch. 11 of the International Residential Code (IRC) using the ICC standards process. For more information on the proposed framework, click here.

Many stakeholders, including code officials, energy policymakers, home builders, the design community and industry representatives, have asked for improvements to the IECC development process. This feedback has made it clear that improvements are needed to keep up with rapid changes and advancements in technology related to energy conservation. The Appeals Board and the Blue Ribbon Committee recommended this course of action as the Code Council’s Consensus Procedures allow for more timely consideration and an in-depth investigation of energy improvements without the time limits imposed in the code hearings. Download notes from the Blue Ribbon Committee work group meeting on November 10, 2020, for more details on the committee discussion.

On January 21, 2021, the Code Council Board will meet virtually to hear testimony from members and stakeholders.

  • TO SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS: Email your submissions to memberinput@iccsafe.org. All written submissions must be received by 8:00 PM ET on Monday, January 11, 2021.
  • TO PROVIDE VERBAL TESTIMONY: Register to participate in the meeting here. Registration for verbal testimony closes at 8:00 PM ET on Monday, January 11, 2021. Please read the protocols for participation before registering.
  • TO LISTEN ONLY: Register to listen to the January 21 virtual meeting here. You will receive the YouTube link for audio participation via email after registration.

All written comments received by the deadline will be posted on the Code Council website. More information is available at www.iccsafe.org/iecc-development-process.

Please direct all questions to Mike Pfeiffer, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, at mpfeiffer@iccsafe.org.

Public Comment Period on the IECC

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Public Comment Period on the IECC

On December 16, the International Code Council Board of Directors met to discuss the future of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

Following the recommendations from the Appeals Board and the Board Committee on the Long-Term Code Development Process (Blue Ribbon Committee), the Code Council Board decided to put forward a framework for the updating of the IECC and Ch. 11 of the International Residential Code (IRC) using the ICC standards process, subject to stakeholder input and final approval by the ICC Board of Directors.

If approved, the following framework will apply:

  • The title of the document will remain the International Energy Conservation Code and the residential energy provisions in Chapter 11 of the IRC will be a duplication of the residential provisions from the IECC. As such, the change in process will not impact references in existing statutes, laws or policies.
  • The IECC will retain the International Codes publication format with the 2024 IECC and IRC scheduled to be published in the fall of 2023.
  • The 2024 IECC and Chapter 11 of the IRC will be updated using the Code Council’s Consensus Procedures. The Consensus Procedures allow for more timely consideration and an in-depth investigation of energy improvements without the time limits imposed in the code hearings.
  • The energy provisions will undergo continuous maintenance in order to be responsive to advances in technology. This will result in the update process continuing beyond the publication of the 2024 IECC and IRC.
  • The committee will be balanced in accordance with our consensus procedures.
  • The next update will begin with the 2021 IECC and Chapter 11 of the 2021 IRC.
  • The Code Council will conduct a campaign to inform members about participation.

The Code Council Board wants your input. They will be meeting the week of January 18 to hear verbal testimony from interested members and stakeholders. If you are interested in submitting written comments and providing verbal testimony, please contact memberinput@iccsafe.org. All written submissions and commitments to participate must be received by 8:00 PM ET on Monday, January 11, 2021. All comments received will be posted on the Code Council website. There will be a registration process for verbal testimony; additional information will be sent the week of January 4, 2021.

In addition to the IECC process, the Blue Ribbon Committee is considering a number of issues related to the code development process, including federal preemption and voter guides. Click here to read the latest update from the committee. You can also learn more on the Code Council website; contact Mike Pfeiffer, PE to receive email updates related to upcoming committee meetings.

Blue Ribbon Committee Update on Preemption, Voter Guides, and the IECC

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Blue Ribbon Committee Update on Preemption, Voter Guides, and the IECC

The Board Committee on the Long-Term Code Development Process (Blue Ribbon Committee) has met regularly since July to discuss many issues of importance to the code development process. In addition to the committee members, interested parties from across the building, construction and design community have participated in the virtual meetings and work groups. At the latest meeting on November 20, the Blue Ribbon Committee discussed the following items.

Federal Preemption: The Blue Ribbon Committee approved in concept a mechanism to address matters of federal preemption. The mechanism should include:

  • A proposed revision to Council Policy 1 Appeals to specifically exclude matters of federal preemption as an appealable action or inaction.
  • The development of a process in which code changes which potentially address preempted issues will be brought to the attention of the International Code Council Board of Directors in a timely matter for consideration and direction.

Voter Guides/Voter Acknowledgment: The Blue Ribbon Committee is investigating the possibility of a voter statement for cdpACCESS for the online governmental consensus vote. This statement would require voting members to acknowledge that they:

  • Are eligible voting members of the Code Council;
  • Are participating in this process in compliance with the ICC Code of Ethics;
  • Have done their due diligence to become informed on the matters they are voting on;
  • And, are aware that voter guides are the opinions of participants in the process, are not endorsed by the Code Council, and that the voters are under no obligation to vote in accordance with such guides.

International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Development Process: The Blue Ribbon Committee has approved a recommendation for the Code Council Board to consider updating the commercial and residential energy provisions in the IECC and Chapter 11 of the International Residential Code (IRC) via the Code Council’s Consensus Procedures instead of the governmental consensus process. The Consensus Procedures allow for more timely consideration and an in-depth investigation of energy improvements without the time limits imposed in the code hearings. If approved, the 2024 IECC and Chapter 11 of the IRC will be updated using the Code Council’s standards consensus procedures. The title of the document will remain the International Energy Conservation Code and the residential energy provisions in Chapter 11 of the IRC will be a duplication of the residential provisions from the IECC. The Code Council Board will consider this recommendation at an upcoming meeting.

If you would like to receive email updates related to the committee or join an upcoming Blue Ribbon Committee meeting, please contact Mike Pfeiffer, PE. Click here to learn more about the Blue Ribbon Committee.

International Code Council and National Environmental Health Association launch pandemics task force

Washington, D.C. – The International Code Council and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) have established a new task force on pandemics. Recognizing the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on new and existing buildings and construction, this task force will develop resources to help prepare buildings and communities for disease-related threats.

The task force will analyze all aspects of the built environment to find solutions that reduce the risks posed by pandemics. It will complete a comprehensive review of current code requirements, existing guides, executive orders, regulations, white papers, reports and standards, related to design, preparedness, and health considerations for building construction, operation and pandemics. Then, the group will identify best practices and guides to address the design and layout of new and existing buildings and establish a comprehensive package of public information materials.

“The coronavirus pandemic has underscored that safe buildings are essential to maintaining public health,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “A community’s ability to defend against such disasters as pandemics depends on the safety of the homes, buildings and infrastructure that serve its citizens. We are extremely proud to collaborate with NEHA on this pandemic task force.”

“The built environment is a central feature of modern life,” said Dr. David Dyjack, Chief Executive Officer of the National Environmental Health Association.  “Our unique partnership with ICC is one characterized by a common mission, information sharing, and aligned leadership, which in aggregate will serve to reduce risk associated with the pandemic, while we collaborate on methods to safely rebuild the economy”. 

The task force will consist of a broad cross section of building, code, design, insurance, plumbing and public health environmental experts appointed by the Code Council Board of Directors. In addition to the creation of the task force, several work groups made of task force member and other interested parties will be established.

For more information, visit www.iccsafe.org/pandemics-task-force.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

About the National Environmental Health Association

NEHA represents more than 6,700 governmental, private, academic, and uniformed service sector environmental health professionals in the U.S. and its territories and internationally. NEHA is the profession’s strongest advocate for excellence in the practice of environmental health as it delivers on its mission to build, sustain, and empower an effective environmental health workforce.

HUD recognizes the International Building Code and the ICC A117.1-2009 accessibility standard as Fair Housing Act safe harbors

Washington, D.C. – The International Code Council applauds the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for recognizing the 2009 ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Standard, 2009 International Building Code (IBC), 2012 IBC, 2015 IBC, and 2018 IBC as “safe harbors” for compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s (FHA) accessibility requirements. HUD will retain the previously recognized IBC 2000, 2003, and 2006 as safe harbors.

The standard and codes adopted by HUD as safe harbors represent safe harbors when the relevant accessibility provisions are used in their entirety. This final rule will go into effect on March 8, 2021.

HUD received public comments from more than 40 interested parties that supported inclusion of the 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 and the ICC A117.1-2009 as safe harbors. A Code Council led coalition of more than 30 organizations and businesses, as well as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) – who have been consistent proponents of updating the safe harbor list – all noted that broadening the list of safe harbors  would improve compliance with the Fair Housing Act’s design and construction requirements;  provide code officials, architects and builders with needed the tools to ensure buildings are accessible to people with disabilities’ and align the Act’s requirements with many U.S. Jurisdictions which already enforce one of the listed editions of the IBC and, by reference, the ICC A117.1-2009. 

Many states and local governments adopt current code and standard editions after their publication, such that the Department’s safe harbor list requires periodic updates in order to keep pace with building requirements in much of the U.S. The final rule included a clarification, supported by the Code Council led coalition, which allows HUD to propose and finalize new safe harbors on a faster timeline. With HUD’s finalization of the rule, the Code Council will soon request the Department begin review of the 2021 IBC, which references the updated and strengthened A117.1-2017.

“The decision by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to expand the list of safe harbors to the 2009-2018 editions of the IBC will have immediate positive impact on the government, the accessibility community and the construction industry,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “We appreciate the Department’s diligence and the participation by so many stakeholders who supported the proposed rule to update the Fair Housing Act safe harbors. The revisions HUD adopted to its process will enable faster review of future safe harbors, which is critical to maintaining this momentum. We look forward to reengaging with the Department in short order on its review of the 2021 IBC and the strengthened A117.1-2017 referenced within it.”

“Expanding the list of safe harbors increases the possibilities for everyone,” said Code Council President Greg Wheeler. “Across the building industry and throughout our communities, the impact of this decision will provide necessary clarity and ensure safety.”

Adopted in all 50 states, the International Building Code, developed by the International Code Council, has become the most widely used model code in the United States and in many other countries. Updated on a three-year cycle, the 2012, 2015, and 2018 IBC editions reference the ICC A117.1-2009 for technical requirements for residential accessible design. The Code Council finalized a subsequent A117.1 accessibility standard in 2017, which is referenced in the 2021 IBC.

Many commenters requested continued access to two matrices prepared by the Code Council, which served as a basis for the final rule to “enable designers, developers, and advocates to understand key components of the safe harbors, vis a vis the Act’s requirements.” These documents compare applicable provisions of the 2006 IBC to the 2009‑18 editions and the 2003 edition of the A117.1 standard to the 2009 edition. These matrices may continue to be accessed through the following links:

To access A117.1 and the IBC, click here.

To access the new HUD rule, click here.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

New community benchmark on water infrastructure resilience released

Washington, D.C. – The Alliance for National and Community Resilience (ANCR) released the third of its Community Resilience Benchmarks—the water benchmark, which addresses resilience of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems. The buildings and housing benchmarks were released in 2019.

ANCR’s Community Resilience Benchmarks (CRBs) support communities in assessing their resilience and developing strategies for improvement. These benchmarks take a coordinated, holistic look at the people, services and processes that make communities work.  

The water benchmark was developed by a committee of subject matter experts co-chaired by Andy Kricun, Managing Director at Moonshot Missions and Senior Fellow at the U.S. Water Alliance, and Jennifer Adams, an emergency management consultant. Committee members included representatives from the American Chemistry Council, American Water Works Association, Codes and Standards International, Denver Water, Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association, Dupont Water Solutions, McWane, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Water is such an essential aspect of communities. We’re grateful for the contributions made by committee members to help capture the policies and practices that support resilience in this sector,” said Evan Reis, Executive Director of the U.S. Resiliency Council and Chair of the ANCR Board of Directors.

“We look forward to working with communities to integrate the Community Resilience Benchmarks into their current resilience initiatives,” commented ANCR Executive Director Ryan Colker. “Not only does the Water Benchmark provide an excellent enhancement to the provisions contained the Buildings and Housing Benchmarks, but it also helps communities determine how their water systems and utilities contribute to their resilience goals to inform future investments that help protect residents and businesses from disaster.”

Communities are encouraged to pilot the benchmark and provide feedback to ANCR to support updates. For communities interested in piloting the water benchmark, click here.

ANCR is a joint initiative of the International Code Council and the U.S. Resiliency Council that brings together representatives from the public and private sectors to advance a holistic approach to community resilience.

Download the Water Benchmark.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions. Code Council codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

About the Alliance for National & Community Resilience

The Alliance for National & Community Resilience, a member of the Code Council family of solutions, is a coalition of public and private entities working to create the nation’s first whole-community resilience benchmark.

International Code Council partners with Florida code officials and home builders to publish code reference publication

Washington, D.C. – The International Code Council, the Florida Home Builders Association and the Building Officials Association of Florida have released a joint publication, Significant Changes to the Florida Building Code: Building and Residential. The new publication provides the most critical updates to the 7th Edition (2020) Florida Building Code with real-world application of those changes that helps building safety professionals better understand recent code changes and ultimately perform their jobs more efficiently.

Each change analysis features the affected code sections and clearly identifies the change with images and examples for easy and quick identification and comprehension of the change. The book’s attention to detail, organization, and concise coverage makes it an ideal tool for transitioning from the 2017 to the 7th Edition (2020) Florida Building Code, Building and Florida Building Code, Residential. Significant Changes to the Florida Existing Building Code are also included. 

Key features of the publication to include:

  • Clarification of code language via full-color illustrations, photographs or examples.
  • A detailed table of contents, part summaries, change summaries, and in-depth discussion of the change significance.
  • Clear notations of all key changes, including deleted code language shown with a strikethrough and new code text indicated as underlined text.
  • Logical organization, facilitating quick and accurate identification of key information, that follows the layout of the codes, including chapter, section number and title format.

“This book is a product of the Code Council’s long and enduring partnership with Florida’s homebuilders and code officials,” said Code Council Executive Vice President Mark Johnson.   “As the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of building safety across the world, we are proud to collaborate on this effort to increase the knowledge of the important code changes that help Florida building professionals ensure safety throughout their communities.”

“This publication is a critical resource for Florida home builders,” said Scott McCracken, President of the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA). “FHBA members take pride in building code compliance and lead the way in implementing the latest updates to the code. This book provides our members with the comprehensive changes taking place, while presenting the updates in a clear and concise manner so that we can all be successful in implementing the 7th Edition.”

“The Building Officials Association of Florida (BOAF) is proud to partner with ICC and the Florida Home Builders Association to make this publication available, said BOAF President Michael Matison. “It will be a valuable resource to all users in familiarizing themselves with the many changes in the 7th Edition (2020) Florida Building and Residential Codes.  As always, we welcome the opportunity to partner with those involved in the Code process.”

The Significant Changes to the Florida Building Code: Building and Residential publication is available for purchase through the Code Council store.  It will also be available on Digital Codes Premium in January 2021.

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About the International Code Council

The International Code Council is the leading global source of model codes and standards and building safety solutions that include product evaluation, accreditation, technology, training and certification. The Code Council’s codes, standards and solutions are used to ensure safe, affordable, and sustainable communities and buildings worldwide.

About the Florida Homebuilders Association

Established in 1947, The Florida Homebuilders Association (FHBA)is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Florida’s local/regional homebuilder associations. FHBA, along with affiliates, work to create the best possible economic and regulatory environment for members to succeed. For more information, visit www.fhba.com.

About the Building Officials Association of Florida

The Building Officials Association of Florida is a member-driven association dedicated to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of the public through safe building practices. BOAF equips building professionals through education, advocacy, leadership and code development. For more information visit www.boaf.net.