The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently updated its Recovery Interim Policy FP-104-009-11, Consensus-Based Codes, Specifications and Standards for Public Assistance (PA), Version 2.1, adding several I-Codes, developed by the International Code Council, to the list of required Consensus-Based Codes, Specifications and Standards for FEMA-funded post-disaster reconstruction. The I-Codes requirements aim to advance national resiliency and reduce community risk before and after a disaster. The PA Program is FEMA’s largest grant program averaging $4.7 billion in assistance each year to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations. Through the PA program, following a federal declaration, FEMA offers grants to eligible communities for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged publicly-owned facilities and infrastructure to respond and recover from major disasters.
New FEMA policies requiring public facilities be rebuilt to most current construction codes explained
Gabe Maser, Vice President of Federal Relations for the Code Council’s Government Relations office, provides insights on new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policies that require that rebuilding using federal public assistance program disaster aid to adhere to new construction codes to make them more resilient to future calamity. “All of this rebuilding now is going to have to start to be rebuilt to these stronger standards,” said Maser in a recent edition of E&E News. Numerous studies show that following up-to-date construction codes generates substantial savings over a building’s lifetime by increasing its resilience. Read the news article here.
ICC Call for nominations says the deadline is April 1 for 2020 Code Council’s annual awards
Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their exemplary dedication? Nominations are being accepted for ICC Awards to honor individuals and organizations for their service to ICC and the building safety industry. The awards will be presented at various events, including but not limited to the 2020 Code Council Annual Conference in St. Louis. To nominate someone for a Code Council Award, complete and email the form attached here to Karla Price Higgs, Vice President, Member Services, at Awards@iccsafe.org. The deadline to submit nominations for this year’s ICC Awards is April 1, 2020.
While the primary theme of the 40th annual Building Safety Month, “Safer Buildings, Safer Communities, Safer World,” illustrates the broad appeal of the occasion, it’s the weekly themes that break down the wide variety of safety, economic and societal benefits communities enjoy by keeping their building codes updated with the latest model codes. The weekly themes 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.