ICC Government Relations Monthly Update – July 2020
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CARES Act Funding for Building Departments: New document on coronavirus advocacy resources site for jurisdictions with population < 500,000
The Code Council has added this document to the Coronavirus Advocacy Resources Site to explain how jurisdictions with populations less than 500,000 can seek CARES Act funding for virtual needs. The document includes links to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) pages for states that have either allocated CRF funds directly to local governments with populations under 500,000 or provided these governments with a cap against which they can be reimbursed for eligible CRF expenses. These states are Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Code department virtual needs can be funded through these allocations in each of these states because each of these states is following Treasury’s guidance on eligible CRF expenditures. In other states, localities with populations under 500,000 need to work through their state to access CRF funding. Non-county localities with populations under 500,000 may also work through their county to access this funding if their county received CRF funds directly. For more information and help understanding the process, please reach out your ICC regional representative.
Annual conference cancellation update
As previously announced, the International Code Council Board of Directors decided not to hold an Annual Conference, Expo, and Annual Business Meeting (ABM) in 2020 given the health concerns for large gatherings, a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall, and declining budgets for many building safety departments. Additional information was provided after the Board met on June 8 as outlined below:
• There will be no officer or board elections this year. All current board member terms will be extended one year. Elections will resume at the 2021 ABM only for those seats that would have been up for election in 2020.
• No bylaw amendments or resolutions will be considered until the 2021 ABM.
• Honorary member nominations for 2020 will be evaluated and recommended by the Honorary Members Committee this year, but the member ratification process will occur at the 2021 ABM.
• The Major Jurisdiction Committee, Membership Council, and Past Presiding Officers Council fall in-person meetings will not take place. The officer terms for these councils and committees will be extended one year until the 2021 Annual Conference. These groups may continue to meet virtually.
• The Chapter Presidents and Regional Chapter fall in-person meetings will not take place. These groups may continue to meet virtually.
• Most of the 2020 awards will be issued this year and the awardees will be recognized virtually. The exceptions – the President’s Award, William J. Tangye Staff Award, Global Award, and Innovation in Code Administration Award – are on hold until the 2021 Annual Conference.
Code development: a process of evolution and improvement
As a part of the International Code Council’s established process – the premier codes and standards development process – several appeals have been filed in response to the 2019 Group B cycle. These appeals are currently making their way through the system. While some of these issues will be dealt with through the appeals process, other elements have raised opportunities for improvement in the long-term code development process. Those issues will be referred to a committee that was created to 2 deal with long-term changes. To learn more about the 2019 Group B appeals and the next steps in the code development process, read article here.
Applications open for communities to pilot new buildings and housing benchmarks
The Alliance for National & Community Resilience (ANCR), a member of the International Code Council’s family of solutions, has opened the application process for communities to join an in-depth piloting program for new buildings and housing benchmarks. As part of the program, communities will participate in ANCR’s Community Resilience Benchmarks (CRB) system, which supports communities in evaluating their current resilience and identifying strategies for improvement. Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2020, at 5:00 pm EST. Successful communities will receive a $5,000 grant, consultant services from an ANCR professional, recognition at a relevant conference and valuable insight into opportunities to advance their resilience. More information here.
New online community offers change 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 to help members take their professional development to the next level. Members will be able to participate in direct discussion with ICC Government Relations and technical staff who will be leading several topic discussions. Check it out here.
Code Council update on standards currently being revised and under development
There is a long-standing relationship between construction codes and standards that address design, installation, testing and materials related to building construction. Building regulation cannot be effectively carried out without such standards. The International Code Council references almost 1,300 standards in its International Codes and has been re-accredited for its American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard development activities under the ICC Consensus Procedures. The Code Council also develops a number of standards, including mechanical, plumbing, structural, resilience, accessibility and green standards, and is accredited by ANSI as a standards developer. Code Council Standards Development Director Karl Aittaniemi provides an update on these standards currently being revised or that are under development here.
Inaccuracies in building codes that UpCodes has posted online
The Code Council was alerted to inaccuracies in building codes that UpCodes has posted online, after research, has definitively determined that UpCodes made multiple mistakes in their online codes website for at least four states: New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia and Wyoming. In fact, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York recently found that UpCodes made rather surprising oversights in the copies of the codes that it posts such as erroneously indicating that the landlocked state [of Wyoming] adopted an appendix focusing on tsunami-generated flood hazards. The Court also recognized that the UpCodes website is continually being updated with potentially erroneous codes. Such errors create potentially serious safety issues and open the door for possible misinterpretations and misapplications of the codes in these communities. The Code Council is suing UpCodes for the wholesale copying of the International Codes (I-Codes) without permission. With this latest information, we also know UpCodes errors could undermine the safety of our communities by presenting inaccurate and incomplete codes. Therefore, we have brought a second case against UpCodes for false advertising. More information here.
Two new CodeNotes are here!
Two new CodeNotes are now available, courtesy of the ICC PMG Membership Council: 3
1. Nail Salon Exhaust Requirements in the I-Codes CodeNotes, based on the 2021 International Mechanical Code (IMC), International Building Code (IBC), International Existing Building Code (IEBC) and International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), provides an understanding of the requirements for an exhaust system for manicure tables and pedicure stations.
2. Worker Safety on Roofs and Elevated Structures CodeNotes, based on the 2015 International Mechanical Code (IMC), addresses the safety of occupants in buildings and provides for protection for service and inspection personnel as it relates to hazards when working on rooftops.
Code Council and RESNET water rating index standard approved by ANSI
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has announced that it has approved the RESNET/ICC Standard 850-2020. This new ANSI standard sets the technical specifications for the inspection, testing and labeling of a home’s water efficiency. The release of this standard comes at a time when water resources are becoming increasingly strained in many parts of the country with the cost of water prices increasing faster than that of energy prices. The potential for water cost savings through water efficiency measures is available in nearly all regions of the U.S. The ANSI/RESNET/ICC Standard 850-2020 will also serve as the technical requirements for RESNET’s residential water efficiency rating system, known as HERSH2O. The national roll-out of HERSH2O will be announced soon with additional information available at RESNET HERSH2O. More information is included here.
Notice of non-ALSC stamped lumber
Recently, the International Code Council learned of lumber located in a port in the State of New York with a stamp by an organization not accredited by the American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) agency. There are no corresponding ALSC system design values attributable to the stamp; therefore, it should not be represented as a structural lumber product under the ALSC system. For more information and an image of the non-ALSC stamp, go here.
Ryan Colker, vice president of innovation, weighs in on net-positive buildings and the role of modern building codes
The pressure for companies and cities to consider the climate crisis — and associated risks — in postCOVID 19 recovery strategies is increasing. How feasible are net-positive buildings, and how might our new economic landscape affect their development? Ryan Colker, vice president of innovation for the Code Council, and ICC member Andrew Klein, a professional engineer and code consultant for the Building Owners and Managers Association International, discuss the issue in a recent GreenBiz 350 podcast with host Heather Clancy. Click here to listen.
National forum launched for solar and solar-plus-storage code and permitting solutions
A newly launched, three-year project — supported by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office — will bring together diverse stakeholders to identify and develop solutions to solar and solar-plus-storage code enforcement and permitting challenges. The project builds upon, and will significantly expand, the work of the Sustainable Energy Action Committee (SEAC), an organization founded in California in 2015 as a forum for collaboration on guidelines for implementation of codes and standards for permitting and inspection practices of renewable energy systems. Under the recent U.S. Energy Department award, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) will lead the administration of SEAC and facilitate its expansion into a national forum. Other key partners in the project include the International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI), the International Code Council, UL LLC, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM), the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the U.S. Energy Storage Association, and the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA). 2018 IWUIC Code and Commentary is now available 4 The 2018 International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC) and Commentary is now available. This comprehensive publication provides a convenient reference for regulations in the 2018 IWUIC, and the format includes the full text of each section, table and figure in the code, followed immediately by the commentary applicable to that text. Each section’s narrative includes a statement of its objective and intent, and usually includes a discussion about why the requirement commands the conditions set forth. Code text and commentary text are easily distinguished from each other and helpful illustrations are included for understandability.
Take your professionalism to the next level
The International Code Council’s new online discussions platform is where building safety professionals can ask questions, gather with industry colleagues virtually, and discuss relevant topics related to building safety, codes, design and education, in a peer-to-peer environment. www.iccsafe.org/discussions (You may need to sign out and log back in to myICC to access this new feature). Digital training and assessment opportunities are also available to help members take their professional development to the next level. Members will be able to participate in direct discussions with ICC Government Relations and technical staff who will be leading several topic discussions.
GOT PULSE? Episode 28: COVID-19 and safety practices for reopening buildings
In this latest episode, the Code Council’s Vice President of Innovation Ryan Colker leads a discussion on safety procedures for reopening business in the wake of COVID-19. Colker is joined by Chief Executive Officer of the Building Owners and Managers Association Henry Chamberlain and Assistant Director of the Clark County Department of Building & Fire Prevention Sam Palmer. Listen here. International protocol on building temporary healthcare facilities In examining the response by building regulators around the world to the urgent need for additional healthcare facilities during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, several key lessons and best practices can be drawn.
The International Protocol on Building Temporary Healthcare Facilities
in Emergency Situations — developed based on input from members of the Inter-Jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration Committee and compiled by representatives from the Australian Building Codes Board, the International Code Council and the Scottish Government — is a discussion draft document that will undergo a review and update every 21 days. The next version will be released on July 17, 2020. Comments are currently being sought and can be submitted to Judy Zakreski, vice president of Global Services for the International Code Council. Read more
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:
• July 9 – 2018 IRC Essentials.
• July 21 – Inspector Skills.
• July 22 – Basic Code Enforcement .
• July 23 – 2018 IBC Means of Egress.
• August 13 – Essential Skills for Rising Leaders.
• August 18 – Effective Communication.
• August 25 – Mass Timber Building and the IBC®.
• September 1-2 – Permit Tech Institute.
• September 10 – Formulating an Effective Code Enforcement Program.
• September 30 – Millennials in Code Enforcement. 5
• 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 offering