ICC Government Relations Chapter Monthly Update – September 2020


ICC Government Relations Monthly Update – September 2020 Follow @ICC_GR on Twitter for breaking news & announcements throughout the month Click here for the ICC Government Relations Staff Regional Map


YOUR RESPONSE IS NEEDED: Take the survey now. Help us obtain funding to help make your job safer.
 Work by ICC’s Government Relations staff helped to get funds for local jurisdiction code offices through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to protect essential services. Last April, 1150 jurisdictions from every state across the country provided feedback. Read the survey analysis, here. Responses from ICC Members helped ICC GR staff alert state and local governments to better understand departments’ virtual capabilities and to collect best practices that could help inform other departments’ approaches. Now, we need you to update that information. Please take a few minutes and answer the questions as best as you can. Identities are protected. Take the survey.

WATCH IT NOW: Webinar features four ICC Members on how their offices used federal CARES Act funding to address virtual needs
You can see the webinar featuring four code officials from across the country who discus how their offices received funds to upgrade to virtual office systems and make their jobs safer. Panelists were permit technician Barb Williams, Otsego, Minnesota; ICC Board Member Mike Boso, Grove City, Ohio; Becky Baker, Jefferson County, Colorado, and Ruben Barrera, Ventura County, California. They described how their jurisdictions successfully secured federal CARES Act funds to protect and support their departments and communities through hardware, as well as virtual and digital solutions. They outlined opportunities for federal funding and steps to receive funds, the solutions they’ve sought and why, and their advice on navigating the process. The panel was moderated by former Tennessee Fire Marshal Gary West and West Allis, Wisconsin, building official Ed Lisinski. Click here to see the webinar.

International Code Council releases recommended practices for remote virtual inspections
For no cost, code officials can obtain “Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections,” the Code Council’s guideline document for an effective, consistent remote virtual inspections program. It reflects research and discussions from Code Council members (including responses to April’s survey of U.S. code officials on COVID-19 response), partners and industry experts. Remote virtual inspections use visual or electronic aids that allow inspectors to observe specific construction projects, products or materials from a distance. These remote inspections are beneficial when the materials or buildings are inaccessible, in dangerous environments, or in other circumstances, prevent an in-person inspection. Read about the recent experiences in Florida using video inspections and click here to see how drones are used indoors. Read about electronic plans submittals in Ranch Cucamonga, California, here.


SAVE THE DATES: Code Council launches ICC LEARN LIVE webinars during November 9-13
This November, the International Code Council is launching ICC LEARN LIVE, a week-long virtual training and education event that will cover the latest topics in building safety — from the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the building industry to remote virtual inspections and the 2021 International Codes. This innovative event will be held from Nov. 9–13, 2020. Here are the dates and sessions.
• Monday, November 9 – 2021 IBC Highlight of Structural Changes; Best Practices for Building Departments; COVID-19 Global Perspectives Panel.

• Tuesday, November 10 – 2021 Code Changes – Break Outs.

• Wednesday, November 11, Veterans Day (dedicated to veterans and will include related issues) – Going Virtual: How to Embrace the New Normal; Remote Virtual Inspections – Recommended Practices; Innovation in 3D Printing.

• Thursday, November 12 – Energy Storage; Careers in the Building Safety Industry; Careers in Building Safety Panel.

• Friday, November 13 – Plumbing; Keynote Speaker/Networking.

We expect ICC Learn Live to reach more building safety professionals than ever before now that we’re making our content available to professionals around the world at their desks. Indeed, our webinar sessions in April and May, in the wake of the pandemic, saw between 500 and 1,100 participants each, and ICC Learn Live will showcase five days of content. Attached to this edition of ICC Government Relations Monthly Update is a LEARN LIVE prospectus outlining the sponsorship opportunities for this event. To discuss how ICC Learn Live might help accomplish your business development goals, please contact David Coyne at dcoyne@iccsafe.org.

 Code Council CEO Dominic Sims offers column published in new issue of “Governing” magazine
Governing featured a column by Code Council CEO Dominic Sims titled “Building Safety’s Essential Role in Resilience and Recovery” which stresses the importance of code departments in pandemic response, ensuring building occupants’ life safety, promoting community disaster mitigation and recovery, and facilitating construction and related economic activity. It urges state and local government to leverage federal CARES Act funding to address code departments’ virtual capability needs. “Building code adoption and enforcement are the backbone to a safe built environment,” Sims wrote. “According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, modern and well-enforced building codes are one of the most effective means to prepare communities for natural hazards. Strong code enforcement can help to reduce losses from catastrophic weather events such as windstorms by 15 to 25 percent, which makes funding critical so that building departments can make the switch to digital processes and maintain full function as they face down the dual threats posed by the virus and other natural hazards.”

Education opportunities are available involving AWC and ICC resources on mass timber construction
The Learning Center at ICC is presenting new training opportunities on Mass Timber Construction. This training series is being co-sponsored with the American Wood Council (AWC). AWC and ICC recently issued released Mass Timber Buildings and the IBC, an overview of requirements for mass timber construction as found in the 2015, 2018, and 2021 International Building Code (IBC). The series includes:

• Introduction to Mass Timber Products


  • What’s New in 2015/2018 IBC® for Mass Timber Construction


  • Background and Overview (New Mass Timber)


  • Heights and Areas and Construction Fire Safety (New Mass Timber)


  • Fire Safety (New Mass Timber)


  • Principles of Fire and Connection Design and Special Inspection (New Mass Timber)
    On November 19, a Virtual Training Room on Mass Timber Building and the IBC will provide an overview of mass timber which includes any product currently permitted for use in Type IV (heavy timber) construction such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), structural composite lumber (SCL), glue laminated timber (glulam), mechanically laminated decking (aka nail-laminated timber, NLT), and large section sawn timbers. This course is at 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Central.


Appeals Board approves merger of two hearings to begin Monday morning, September 14

As announced in the Notice of Appeal Hearings, the appeals for the 2019 Group B Code Cycle were split into five groups since a significant amount of crossover was identified between some of the appeals. After receiving a request by the affected appellants for the fourth and fifth appeal hearings – Leading Builders of America and the National Association of Home Builders – the Appeals Board approved the merger of the hearings originally scheduled on September 10 and 14. The resulting appeal hearing will take place on September 14, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Central. The hearing will include the following appeal basis as noted in the Notice of Appeal Hearings:

  • Impact of online voting (CP 28)
  • Cost impact
  • Voting guides
  • Voter eligibility
  • Validation process 3
    The deadline for comments was August 31. The hearing for federal preemption was held August 31, and the hearing for scope and intent is September 3. Registration links for the view only YouTube live stream of the hearing is available here. As advised in previous notices, those interested in participating during the hearings are strongly encouraged to use the presentation template linked below. The template ensures the quality and formatting of the presentation follows the recommended presentation guidelines. All presentations will be posted to the Code Council appeals webpage as they were submitted, without edits. Only Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt) files will be accepted. Presentations are due Tuesday, September 8, by close of business. This webpage serves as the notification vehicle and repository for all documents related to the processing of the appeals in accordance with CP1 Appeals.


Wyoming’s Jim Brown heads select committee making the first major review of Code Council bylaws
Code Council President Greg Wheeler recently appointed a committee to conduct the first major review of the ICC bylaws since their creation. The Code Council Board and Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims agree that a comprehensive review is needed given the growth of the organization, the Code Council’s 2025 strategic plan, and the changing world around us. The following were appointed:

  • Jim Brown, CBO, CFPS – Chair
  • David Spencer, CBO – Vice Chair
  • Bill Bryant, MCP, CBO
  • Alan Boswell, MCP, CBO
  • Ron Hampton, MCP, CBO
    Wheeler also appointed three ex officio, non-voting members from the Emerging Leaders Membership Council to serve on the committee: Elizabeth Arrington of Kentucky, Andre Jaen of Colorado and Benjamin Breadmore of Maine. The Committee will conduct a series of meetings throughout the fall and develop a detailed report for the Code Council Board to consider in December 2020. Members wishing to submit comments related to the bylaws should email them to memberinput@iccsafe.org.


Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act legislation praised by stake holders in construction
United States Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Tom Reed (R-NY-23), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25) introduced the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act, legislation that will create a $3,000 tax credit for homes and a $25,000 tax credit for business to help their owners rebuild after natural disasters. The Code Council worked closely with the bill sponsors on this effort, which would provide tax credits property owners for construction or reconstruction that adheres to one of the two most recent editions of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code or the ICC 600 Standard for Residential Construction in High-Wind Regions. In response to the bill’s introduction, Code Council CEO Dominic Sims said. “We applaud Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Tom Reed, Chairman Peter DeFazio and Rep Mario Diaz Balart for introducing the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2020. With natural disasters expected to increase in frequency and severity, this legislation would boost our national resilience by providing tax incentives to help Americans strengthen homes and businesses against wildfire, high winds, and other natural hazards through the use of modern building codes and standards.” Read more here.


FEMA issues funding opportunities notice for its new pre-disaster mitigation grant program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency posted the fiscal year 2020 hazard mitigation assistance Notification of Funding Opportunities for the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grant program, which provides funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damages. The Code Council supported the creation of the program, ensured it could benefit code activities, and has worked closely with FEMA on its further development. This year, there is $500 million available for the BRIC program and FEMA is offering a series of webinars in August for prospective applicants. The program can fund code adoption/updating (staff time, consultants, code books/digital licenses), training/certifications (including International Code 4 Council’s When Disaster Strikes), electronic permitting and remove virtual inspection software, and building department accreditation. The application deadline is Jan. 29, 2021. Stay tuned for information on an early September ICC webinar on this opportunity and how to best leverage it.


U.S. House of Representatives spending bill supports continued funding of EPA’s WaterSense Program
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a consolidated appropriations act for fiscal year 2021 that includes funding for programs within the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies. The Appropriation Committee’s report includes language that supports EPA’s WaterSense Program and directs the agency to continue funding the program at the enacted levels. The program has saved $4.4 trillion gallons of water and $87 billion of water and energy expenses since its inception in 2006, and more than 34,000 WaterSense plumbing product models are available, according to the most recent WaterSense Accomplishments Report. Read more here.


Last part of series examines flexibility and savings in installing venting fixtures and traps in 2021 IPC
In the fourth and final part of the series from “Methods of Venting Plumbing Fixtures and Traps in the 2021 International Plumbing Code: Installation, Flexibility and Opportunity for Savings,” writer Lee Clifton delves into Chapter 9 of the IPC and its variety of methods to vent plumbing fixtures and traps. The methods have been laboratory tested to determine sizing and installation requirements that provide proper venting to a drainage system. The venting methods have also been field-tested, establishing a long history of satisfactory service. These venting provisions offer the installer and designer different paths to achieving an adequately vented system, which could result in cost savings along with ease of installation in different types of construction. Read more here.


ICC-ES provides proof of compliance to state and regional codes and eases approval for installation
With an expanding worldwide demand for safe and resilient buildings, it is more important than ever to prove that the products used to build them meet the local regulations. ICC Evaluation Service (ICCES) evaluates products to help code officials approve them for installation. ICC-ES evaluation reports are tailored to meet the needs of the code official enforcing the international family of codes. The reports contain factual, relevant information needed by code officials in order to support their decision to allow subject building products in their jurisdiction. Many states and cities are already using ICC-ES reports, such as the state of California, state of Florida, and the City of Los Angeles. Learn more here.


ICC Evaluation Service technical staff is primed for the developing 3D printing construction industry
Realizing that 3D printing is quickly becoming an in-demand technology, ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) technical staff have been closely monitoring developments in the 3D printing construction industry. As the leading evaluation service in the industry whose reports are widely accepted by building officials and jurisdictions in the United States, ICC-ES has been working with leading 3D printing construction companies to develop building code compliance for one-story, single-unit, residential dwelling walls constructed using 3D printing technology. Read more here.

Code Council releases update on current standards development activities
The critical role of standards in the building regulatory process is such that the standards are an extension of the code requirements and are therefore equally enforceable. Consequently, standards that are referenced in codes carry an expectation of being as clear, direct and enforceable as code requirements that are primarily text. For a list of International Code Council standards that are current, being revised or are under development, read more here.


ICC-ES in-person meeting slated for October 6-7 now changed to an online meeting via live WebEx
The in-person meeting of the ICC Evaluation Service Evaluation Committee, scheduled for October 6-7, 2020, in Birmingham, Alabama, will now be held via live WebEx. A list of all acceptance criteria 5 development documents that will be presented for review is now available. Those interested in joining the meetings must register for the events scheduled on each day. Registration will close on October 2.


Fannie Mae issues the Multifamily Modular Construction Toolkit in response to housing supply crisis
Modular construction is seen as a possible solution to the nation’s affordable housing supply crisis due to its many potential benefits, including cost savings, shorter development timelines, and an overall safer and more efficient development process. Fannie Mae recently released its Multifamily Modular Construction Toolkit to support the use of modular construction in multi-family housing. Developed with the support of the National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council and Code Council Vice President of Innovation Ryan Colker, the toolkit includes best practices, case studies and resources.


New online membership tool makes reinstating ICC memberships easier than ever
A new membership tool allows members to reinstate their memberships online. Previously, former members had to call or send a PDF form with a check. Now, all they need to do is log in to myICC and click on the “Reinstate” button found in the membership area. There’s no extra fee to reinstate a lapsed membership; just rejoin for the regular dues fee. Available 24/7, this new feature offers convenience for restoring member benefits and we’re still available for you by phone at 888-ICC-SAFE x33804.


Recently issued whitepaper examines COVID-19 impact on fiscal viability for states and jurisdictions
The Council of State Governments released its report — COVID-19: Fiscal Impact to States and Strategies for Recovery — which examines near-term budget impacts, the economic risk of ongoing pandemic effects and shutdowns, the resiliency of states to respond, and strategies for fiscal recovery. States plan for unanticipated events in the development of state budgets, but nothing could have prepared states for the shock the COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting on revenue and expenditures in such a short time. Based on the latest state-by-state estimates, states face an estimated $169-253 billion shortfall for the combined fiscal years ending in 2020 and 2021.


GOT 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:
• 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. 6
    • 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.
    • November 19 – Virtual Training Room on Mass Timber Building and the IBC.
    • 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