ICC Government Relations Monthly Update – August 2020
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Second survey set to measure how ICC members and offices are responding to COVID-19 challenges
Gabe Maser, ICC Vice President, Government Relations and National Strategy, and Lisa Berger, Government Relations Associate, are preparing a second survey for Code Council members to get a new reading on how members and their offices are coping professionally during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first study, launched last spring, was helpful in directing governors and agencies to allocate CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund money to local jurisdictions to upgrade remote electronic office systems. A report on the survey, “Building Safety and COVID-19: Analysis of Code Compliance in the United States During the Pandemic,” was issued July 1. The report is available in the Coronavirus Response Center. The survey will be emailed to Code Council members later this month.
Code Council posts the official Notice of Appeal Hearings for hearings starting August 26 online The Code Council recently posted an official Notice of Appeal Hearings involving the Group B 2019 Code Cycle. Hearings will be conducted virtually, starting at 9 a.m. Central on August 26. Those wishing to submit written comments and a request to participate must contact Mike Pfeiffer, P.E., Code Council Senior Vice President of Technical Services, by the deadlines posted within the notice. The WebEx details will be sent to those who confirm participation via a registration process. The hearings will also be broadcast via YouTube for those who would like to view but not participate. Read more here.
ICC’s Committee on the Long Term Code Development Process work groups started meeting in July
On July 9, 2020. Chairman and Code Council Board Secretary/Treasurer Michael Wich called the meeting to order of the Committee on the Long Term Code Development Process (LTCDP), commonly referred to as the “Blue Ribbon Committee.” Wich noted the importance of the work of this committee in identifying and investigating issues which may require changes to the ICC Code Development Process in order to improve the process. Meetings were set for July 29 for Process and Procedures Work Group, chaired by John Terry, and for July 31 for the Structural Work Group, chaired by Bill Dupler. The committee is expected to play a pivotal role in making recommendations to the ICC Board of Directors.
International Code Council is now accepting preorders for the 2021 edition of its International Codes
The International Code Council is now accepting preorders for the 2021 edition of its International Codes (I-Codes), the most widely used and highly regarded set of building safety codes in the world. Each edition of the I-Codes goes through the Code Council’s highly-respected consensus code development process that draws upon the expertise of hundreds of building and safety experts making it possible for the use of new materials, methods and design. Read more here.
New publication outlines methods of venting plumbing fixtures and traps in the 2021 IPC
The International Code Council is distributing a helpful tool — Methods of Venting Plumbing Fixtures and Traps in the 2021 International Plumbing Code: Installation, Flexibility and Opportunity for Savings — to help expand your knowledge of the International Plumbing Code (IPC). The various approaches to venting that are permitted in the 2021 IPC are described in this handy reference tool authored by Lee Clifton. Read more here.
Webinar on using CARES Act funding is available on the ICC Coronavirus Response Center webpage
About 170 Code Council members tuned into the recent webinar on federal aid to local governments through the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), hosted by Gabe Maser, ICC Vice President, Government Relations and National Strategy. The webinar featured valuable information on the CRF money going to states for distribution to local jurisdictions to protect public employees from COVID-19
exposure. It outlined emerging digital solutions to upgrade safer procedures in code offices and in the field. It featured the Code Council’s family of solutions to improve telework capabilities and enable the remote function of government. The webinar can be seen on the Free Webinars page of the ICC website’s Coronavirus Response Center.
Pandemic raises the urgency for code offices to upgrade to virtual and digital systems
The pandemic which has gripped the United States is forcing city managers and code officials to upgrade to digital solutions sooner than previously planned. The objective is to protect public employees from exposure to the pandemic and to make work more productive and documentable. The City of San Diego has an interesting story about how it made its conversion to ICC’s premiumACCESS. Here’s the city’s story from the recent ICC Building Safety Journal.
Virginia adopts nation’s first coronavirus workplace safety rules to protect from COVID-19
The state of Virginia adopted the first set of coronavirus-related workplace safety mandates in the country, after the state’s safety and health codes board approved the emergency regulation on July 15 — a move the state took after months of inaction from a federal agency tasked with nationwide enforcement. The emergency temporary standard will require businesses to implement safety measures to protect people from being infected with the coronavirus at work. Companies could face financial penalties of up to $130,000 if they are found to have violated the policies.
AWC and ICC issue overview of requirements for mass timber construction in 2015, 2018 and 2021 IBC
The American Wood Council (AWC) and International Code Council released a joint publication, Mass Timber Buildings and the IBC, providing an overview of requirements for mass timber construction as found in the 2015, 2018 and 2021 International Building Code (IBC). The document highlights changes beginning with the 2015 IBC that allow for construction of mass timber buildings with larger heights and areas than was permitted for buildings of wood construction types (Types III, IV and V) prior to the 2015 IBC. The document reviews the 2015 IBC recognition of cross-laminated timber, the reorganization of heavy timber provisions in the 2018 IBC, followed by the significant changes in the 2021 IBC and International Fire Code for tall mass timber construction. Read the full article here.
Deadline is September 1 to nominate for ICC’s National Leadership in Sustainability Award
The International Code Council’s National Leadership in Sustainability Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the growth and enhancement of codes or public policy advancing the principles of the Sustainability Membership Council (SMC) in the field of energy efficiency and/or sustainability in the built environment. It will be conferred on an individual or organization that demonstrates an exceptional record of contribution, either in one-time or cumulative efforts, made during their career or in the course of past operations. Self-nominations will be accepted. The deadline to receive nominations is September 1. It will be presented virtually this Fall. For the application, please click here.
Code Council is a top sponsor of Building Innovation 2020 set for August 18-19 online
For the fifth year in a row, the International Code Council will hold a lead sponsorship role in the National Institute of Building Sciences’ (NIBS) eighth annual conference and expo — Building Innovation 2020 — which will be held virtually from Aug. 18-19, 2020, on NIBS’ Virtual Platform. It will feature a wide range of opportunities for Code Council members to gain valuable insights from attending this collaborative online conference. The Building Innovation 2020 conference program will present 16 sessions and 29 speakers over two information-packed days focusing on technology, workforce, resilience and COVID-19. Read more here.
ICC GR’s Dottie Mazzarella carries the message of workplace safety during COVID-19 on radio show
Dottie Mazzarella, ICC Vice President, Government Relations, chatted with “Westchester on the Level” radio host Hezi Aris on safety precautions and considerations for businesses preparing to re-open ahead of New York’s phase four for re-occupancy. Listen to the full July 9 broadcast (Mazzarella’s segment begins at 30:40). Read more here.
Web portal tracks hazard-resistant state and local building code adoptions across the nation FEMA just announced a new tool that tracks the adoption of hazard resistant building codes at the state and local levels across the US (hazard resistant defined as latest two editions of the IRC/IBC with hazard mitigation provision unamended). The National Building Code Adoption Tracking Portal, offered by global design firm Stantec Inc., tracks the adoption of hazard-resistant building codes at the state and local levels across the United States.
Survey focuses on job tasks, priorities and skills related to using the IgCC and ASHRAE 189.1
The Code Council and ASHRAE are developing a new examination focusing on the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and ASHRAE 189.1. The examination is developed using a Job Analysis approach, which focuses on analyzing a profession to determine the observable job behaviors (“tasks”) performed. The data collected from a survey will be used to create a list of discrete job tasks, their relative importance to the profession, and linkage to knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). The job task statements included in this survey were developed by the IgCC Examination Development Committee (EDC). We invite you to complete this survey where you will be asked to rank each task by how frequently you perform various tasks and how important the task is in the performance of your current job. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes.
Record number of active reports puts the ICC-ES PMG Listing Program in leading position
The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas (PMG) Listing Program has hit a milestone in the number of active reports — the highest in its history. The success is due to many factors, not least of which is interest in the program expressed by manufacturers who are looking for better acceptance and better service at a significantly lower cost. “The growth of the program has been very exciting and rewarding,” said Dawn La Fleur-Qualley, ICC-ES PMG program director. “We believe this tremendous growth is the result of the manufacturers choosing ICC-ES over others for their conformity assessment needs. They like us for not just the high-quality listing reports at affordable prices, but also for the acceptability of our mark of conformity in North America.” Read more here.
NAHB and Realtors launch effort to explain the growing high-performance home marketplace The National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors launched a new joint initiative, Home Performance Counts, designed to help consumers better understand the rapidly growing high-performance home marketplace — homes that prioritize comfort, durability, wellness and affordability. Demand has expanded over recent years, with the number of these homes certified to the National Green Building Standard increasing by more than 57% since 2017. Read more here.
New online community forum offers opportunity to discuss, share and learn with other professionals
The Code Council’s new online community forums site is an online discussion area where members can further develop their professional experience – by gathering with industry colleagues to interact and discuss relevant topics related to building safety, codes, design and education in a peer-to-peer environment. Digital training and assessment opportunities are also available. Members can participate in discussions with ICC Government Relations and technical staff who lead several topic discussions.
ICC Evaluation Service applauds the recently implemented United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement
The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) has officially entered into force, creating more balanced, reciprocal trade, which is good news to ICC Evaluation Service. ICC-ES certifies products in all three USMCA markets and is available to help streamline the process and provide a one-stop-shop for testing, listing and evaluation service in North America and beyond. The standards, conformity
assessment and Good Regulatory Practices chapters of USMCA include stronger language that will aid in future bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. Read more here.
AIA develops report and 3D models to help plan for safer senior living communities from COVID-19
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) released strategies and illustrations to help senior living communities mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Developing mitigation strategies is particularly critical for senior living communities, where risk is amplified. The report and 3D models were developed by a team of architects, public health experts, engineers and community managers as part of AIA’s initiative, “Reopening America: Strategies for safer buildings.” The team used emerging research and public health data to develop the strategies, which can be implemented immediately. Read more here.
BuildStrong Coalition shares resilience outlook during the U.S. Chamber and FEMA virtual events The BuildStrong Coalition recently led panel discussions on the future of resilience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation “Building Resilience Through Public-Private Partnerships Conference” and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s summer engagement series. “Even in the midst of COVID-19, we are constantly reminded as disasters continue to destroy homes and lives that we must stay vigilant in working to better protect American communities,” said Jimi Grande, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and Chairman of the BuildStrong Coalition. “This week’s events showed how important it is to bring together the right stakeholders to discuss ways we can improve the nation’s resilience to natural catastrophes, including ensuring the successful implementation of the BRIC Program.” Read more here.
New NCSL report focuses on the importance of updated codes and setting resilience benchmarks
Under its Partnership on Disaster Mitigation and Recovery — of which the Code Council is a member — the National Conference of State Legislatures released a first-of-its-kind publication on the role of state legislators in natural disasters. “In Case of Emergency: The Legislator’s Role in Natural Disasters” includes information on many issues, including the importance of updated national consensus-based codes and standards; the education and funding of building departments; and resilience benchmarks by the Alliance for National & Community Resilience.
New Zealand expands its commitment to fight climate change with new standards for energy, water
New Zealand’s government has increased its climate commitment with a plan to transform the building sector, which includes aggressive new efficiency standards for energy and water use and mandatory reporting requirements on construction materials and waste. Details were announced in its Building for Climate Change Programme, setting out plans to slash carbon emissions in the construction sector and improve building resilience to climate change. The move is a massive leap forward in New Zealand’s goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Read more here.
You’ll find it under Appendix U in the 2021 IRC: Cob construction is included for the first time Cob construction has been approved for inclusion for the first time in an International Code as Appendix U in the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC). Also known as “monolithic adobe,” cob is an ancient method of earthen construction using clay-soil, straw, water and sand in integrated layers to create monolithic walls that can support a roof with no need for structural posts. When properly designed, constructed and maintained, cob homes have proven to last centuries. Environmentally friendly, low cost, easy to learn and artistically inspirational, cob has undergone a revival since the mid-1990s.
GOTOT PULSE?PULSE? Episode 29 focuses on Society of Fire Protection Engineers and performance-based design
In this episode Code Council Senior Staff Engineer Beth Tubbs leads a discussion about the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and performance-based design. Tubbs is joined by ARUP Principal and Past President of SFPE Ray Grill and Building Official of Summit, N.J., Gary Lewis. Click here to listen.
Upcoming from the ICC Learning Center: Institutes, training, webinars, etc.
Online learning is available from the ICC Learning Center. Find course listings you’d like to attend in the Learning Center using the Search function. Single-day training events are an opportunity to focus on topics to ensure your code knowledge stays up to date, with some seminars offering a Virtual Classroom option so you can participate in the event from any location with an internet connection:
• August 11 – Leadership Webinar Series, Challenging Discussions.
• August 12 – Permit Tech Webinar Series, Overview of Code Enforcement.
• August 13 – Leadership Webinar Series, Essential Skills for Rising Leaders.
• August 13 – Code Enforcement Webinar Series, Safe and Proper Procedures on Contact.
• August 18 – Leadership Webinar Series, Effective Communication.
• August 19 – Permit Tech Webinar Series, Reading Construction Documents.
• August 20 – Code Enforcement Webinar Series, Joint Enforcement Safety.
• August 25 – Mass Timber Building and the IBC®.
• August 26 – Permit Tech Webinar Series, Building Department Processes.
• August 27 – Code Enforcement Webinar Series, Dealing with Hazmat and Hoarding Properties.
• September 1 – IMC Webinar Series, Administration and General Requirements.
• September 1-2 – Permit Tech Institute.
• September 2 – Permit Tech Webinar Series, Legal Principles.
• September 3 – Code Enforcement Webinar Series, Effective Communication.
• September 8 – IMC Webinar Series, Ventilation and Duct Systems.
• September 9 – Permit Tech Webinar Series, Finding the Answers in the I-Codes®.
• September 10 – Formulating an Effective Code Enforcement Program.
• September 14 – 2018 Fire Inspector Webinar Series, General Inspection Administration.
• September 15 – IMC Webinar Series, Exhaust Systems.
• September 16 – Permit Tech Webinar Series, Simple Plan Review.
• September 16 – Standalone Webinar, Simple Plan Review.
• September 17 – Leadership Webinar Series, Building Your Bench.
• September 21 – 2018 Fire Inspector Webinar Series, General Provisions and Fire Safety, Part I.
• September 22 – IMC Webinar Series, Combustion Air and Venting.
• September 28 – 2018 Fire Inspector Webinar Series, General Provisions and Fire Safety, Part II.
• September 29 – IMC Webinar Series, Boilers and Hydronic Piping.
• September 30 – Millennials in Code Enforcement.
• October 5 – 2018 Fire Inspector Webinar Series, Special Occupancies and Operations.
• October 6 – IMC Webinar Series, Refrigeration, Fuel Oil Piping and Storage and Solar Systems.
• October 13 – 2018 Fire Inspector Webinar Series, Regulated Materials and Processes .
• November 18 – Essential Skills for Rising Leaders.
• Available daily online, 2015 Permit Technician 14 Study Guide.
• Available daily online, IRC® Online Study Guide for Residential Building Inspectors B1.
Plus check out more upcoming virtual learning and webinar offerings here:
• Virtual landing page Webinar landing page