2020 budget packages have several appropriations that are important to America’s built environment

The U.S. Congress recently passed and President Donald Trump signed into law two spending packages for fiscal year 2020, including an appropriations agreement which funds several programs that benefit the building safety industry and which the International Code Council supported through engagement with lawmakers. They include:

  • A $100 million increase to $3.4 billion total for the Community Development Block Grant Program, which funds code adoption and enforcement activities at the state and local levels.
  • A $167 million increase in funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  The Institute’s Science and Technical Research and Services received a $29.5 million boost over current levels. NIST’s disaster resilience grants were preserved and current funding levels will allow NIST’s premise plumbing research to continue.
  • An $80 million increase in FEMA preparedness grants to $2.9 billion, including a $35 million increase to $560 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program and a $5 million increase to $355 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, staffing for an adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant Program, and Emergency Management Performance Grant Program, respectively.
  • A $20 million increase to $1.26 billion for Perkins career and technical education state grants.
  • A $1.6 million increase to $4.5 million for WaterSense, which the International Green Construction Code leverages and which is supported by both the International Accreditation Service and ICC Evaluation Service products.
  • A $3 million increase to $10 million for the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program, which supports the development and implementation of the IECC.

The appropriations legislation also extends from December 31, 2017, to December 31, 2020, the 45L tax credit for new homes that are 50 percent more efficient than the 2006 IECC and, over the same period, the 179D tax deduction for efficiency improvements to commercial buildings. The Code Council looks

forward to continuing to work with the federal government, our members and our partners to aid in efforts to improve building safety and resilience. To read the FEMA spending agreement, click here. The remaining spending bills may be accessed here, and the tax provisions, here.

April 1 is the deadline to submit applications for the prestigious Emory R. Rodgers Fellowship

The deadline to submit applications to receive the 2020 Emory R. Rodgers Leadership in Building Safety Fellowship Award is April 1. Emory R. Rodgers spent more than four decades devoting himself to the building safety profession and to the creation and ongoing development of the International Codes. As a leader in the industry and in the Code Council community, he put forth unprecedented efforts in educating and preparing the next generation of building safety professionals. This Fellowship is available annually to a building safety professional, who has embarked upon a demonstrated executive-level career path, and wants to further develop leadership skills through an eligible executive development program. The Fellowship will afford up to $20,000 dollars to cover the full cost of the educational program and the award recipient’s travel to and from the program. The 2019 recipient of the award was Chris Landreth, Supervising Building and Fire Inspector for the City of Tracy, Calif. Read more here.

Preliminary results of Group B voting in person and online have been announced by the International Code Council

With the completion of the 2019 Group B Public Committee Hearings in Las Vegas October 23-30 and the post-hearings online voting, the International Code Council recently released the preliminary results which will shape the 2021 International Codes. Click here to see those preliminary results. Keep in mind they are not final as they have yet to be certified by the Validation Committee and confirmed by the ICC Board of Directors (in accordance with Section 10.1 of Council Policy 28 Code Development). The post-hearings online voting, formally known as the Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV), was conducted November 19 to December 6. The 2019 Group B Final Action results, including vote tallies from the OGCV, will be posted following certification in accordance with Section 10.4 of CP 28.

“Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World” is the theme of 40th annual Building Safety Month

May is Building Safety Month for the International Code Council and for communities around the world. But what makes the 2020 Building Safety Month special is it marks its 40th anniversary. Building Safety Month has grown to involve a broad coalition of partners and supporters. It raises awareness about the importance of building codes and a strong system of code enforcement so that homeowners, government officials and the public have the necessary information for ensuring safety in the spaces where they live, work and learn. The Code Council, its 64,000 members, and a range of construction and design professionals participate in this campaign to highlight the importance of building safety though proclamations, informational events, legislative briefings and more. The weekly themes for 2020 are:

  • Week One, May 1-10: Disaster Preparedness
  • Week Two, May 11-17: Water Safety
  • Week Three, May 18-24: Resiliency. Sustainability. Innovation.
  • Week Four, May 25-31: Training the Next Generation

Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available. International partners include the Australian Building Codes Board, Building Officials Institute of New Zealand and the Ontario Building Officials Association.

For more information about the campaign, visit www.buildingsafetymonth.org and click here to download the campaign poster. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #BuildingSafety365.

Upcoming from the ICC Learning Center: Institutes, training, seminars, 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:
• October 16 – Leadership Webinar Series Public Speaking.
• October 17 – A Structural Engineer’s Primer for Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis for Structural Engineers.
• October 23 – Tsunami Design per ASCE 7–16.
• October 24 – An Overview of Major Changes in ASCE 7–16.
• October 29 – 2015 IPC® Webinar Series Chapters 7 and 8.
• October 30 – 2015 IPC® Webinar Series Chapters 9 and 10.
• November 5 – 2015 IPC® Webinar Series Chapters 11–14.
• November 5 – Advanced Legal Aspects of Code Administration for Fire Inspectors.
• November 6 – 2018 IBC® Essentials.
• November 6 – 2018 IMC® Design, Installation and Inspection Principles.
• November 6 – Commercial Building Inspector Webinar Series Building Planning.
• November 7 – Basic Code Enforcement Webinar Series Joint Enforcement Safety.
• November 8 – 2015 IMC® Webinar Series Administration and General Requirements
• November 13 – 2018 IBC® Essentials.
• November 13 – 2018 IMC® Design, Installation and Inspection Principles.
• November 13 – Commercial Building Inspector Webinar Series Wall Construction.
• November 14 – Basic Code Enforcement.
• November 18 – 2018 IBC® and IFC® Fire Protection Systems.
• November 18 – 2018 IBC Fire and Smoke Protection Features.
• November 19 – Leadership Webinar Series Coaching for Success.
• November 19 – 2015 IMC® Webinar Series Ventilation and Duct Systems.
• November 20 – Commercial Building Inspector Webinar Series Public Safety and Special Construction.
• November 21 – 2015 IMC® Webinar Series Exhaust Systems.
• November 25 – 2018 IBC® and IFC® Fire Protection Systems.
• November 25 – 2018 IBC Fire and Smoke Protection Features.
• November 26 – 2015 IMC® Webinar Series Combustion Air and Venting.
• November 27 – Commercial Building Inspector Webinar Series Footings and Foundations.
• December 3 – 2015 IMC® Webinar Series Boilers and Hydronic Piping.
• December 4 – Essential Skills for Rising Leaders.
• December 10 – Leadership Webinar Series Public Speaking for the Code Official.
• December 11 – 2015 IMC® Webinar Series Refrigeration, Fuel Oil Piping and Storage and Solar Systems.
• December 13 – 2018 IPC® Design, Installation and Inspection Principles.
• December 13 – 2018 IPMC® Overview.

The Disaster Response Alliance stands ready to mobilize code officials, engineers and others

With hurricanes making headlines again, the International Code Council and the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) remind their members, stakeholders and affected communities that the Disaster Response Alliance maintains a national database of skilled, trained and certified building safety professionals who are standing by and ready to assist communities in need. Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial entities may request assistance online. The Disaster Response Alliance has assembled a cadre of skilled code officials, engineers and others from across the country who are willing to assist with post-disaster safety assessments, building damage assessments, inspections, and provide surge support for other code-related functions. The Disaster Response Alliance brings together skilled, volunteer second responders in one place for easy access and quick mobilization.

Opinion piece states current codes are critical protections for low- and middle-income neighborhoods

ICC Government Relations’ Ryan Colker co-authored an op-ed with Marion McFadden of Enterprise Community Partners (an affordable housing advocacy group) that appeared last week in the Morning Consult, titled, “Affordable Housing Needs to Be Built to Withstand Natural Disasters.” The article notes that recent hurricanes did their worst damage in low- and middle-income neighborhoods, and that keeping construction codes current provides the best protection for those homeowners. “Disasters strike with both a physical and a financial shock, and only about four in 10 Americans can afford to cover a $1,000 blow with savings,” Colker said. “The adoption and application of modern building codes by developers and municipalities is the most straightforward protection for low- and moderate-income communities in the face of disaster. However, more than two-thirds of communities facing hazard risk use out-of-date codes.” Colker is executive director of ICC’s Alliance for National and Community Resilience and Vice President for Innovation at the Code Council. Click here to read more.

U.S. House of Representatives passes two bills aimed at reducing carbon monoxide poisoning

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation (the CO Alerts Act) to provide $305 million for carbon monoxide detectors in federally-subsidized public housing that are installed to meet standards described in chapters 9 and 11 of the Code Council’s 2018 International Fire Code. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has also expressed support for the measure. A second bill also passed, HR 1618, which provides grants to states for carbon monoxide poisoning prevention where they have adopted the 2015 or 2018 IRC/IFC, or the 2019 NFPA 72. There have been four reports this year of deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning in public housing complexes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reports 50,000 people are sickened by carbon monoxide annually, resulting in 430 deaths.

ICC Board Chairman Bryant and CEO Sims release ICC’s Vision 2025 Strategic Plan’s five-year goals

Code Council Board Chairman Bill Bryant and Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims recently released the five-year goals developed for the International Code Council in the document titled, “Vision 2015 Strategic Plan.” The document incorporates contributions from staff, members, partners, the Board of Directors and past presiding officers. “By following this roadmap, we plan to build upon our strengths and work together with all stakeholders to achieve our fullest potential as an association. Vision 2025 allows us to assess the effectiveness of our work and manifest our goals into reality,” they said. The core of the plan is ICC’s mission to provide the highest quality codes, standards, products and services for all concerned with the safety and performance of the built environment worldwide. The plan’s “four strategic pillars” are:

  1. Fortify the Code Council’s mission, brand and public awareness.
  2. Increase value for members and the building safety community.
  3. Ensure financial sustainability and growth.
  4. Assess the organizational structure.

ICC Board to start appointing Code Action Committee positions Jan. 1 for next groups of code hearings

The Code Council is currently accepting applications for the five Code Action Committees (Building Code Action Committee, Fire Code Action Committee, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code Action Committee, Sustainability, Energy & High Performance Building Code Action Committee, and the Compliance Code Action Committee), the Codes and Standards Council and a regulator vacancy on the Committee on Healthcare. These committees will be appointed by the ICC Board of Directors for terms starting Jan. 1, 2020. For more information, click here.