FEMA issues agency-wide strategy to lead U.S. toward improved resilience through current codes

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a new building codes strategy, defining the goals and objectives it will pursue to promote the application, adoption and enforcement of hazard- resistant building codes across the nation. This first-of-its kind strategy focuses on three core goals:

  • Integrating building codes and standards across FEMA
  • Strengthening nationwide capacity for superior building performance
  • Driving public action on building codes

The goals will drive coordination and prioritize the agency’s activities to advance the adoption and enforcement of hazard-resistant building codes and standards for FEMA programs and communities nationwide. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell announced the strategy at this year’s National Hurricane Conference, where she described hazard-resistant codes as “a cornerstone of loss reduction,” that “save property, but more importantly, they save lives.” Read more here.

Research of tornado risks leads to better building codes that don’t significantly increase building costs

A Building Safety Journal piece by Maryland’s Paul Lagasse, who specializes in the trades, technology and science, examines the research that goes into the updating of construction codes to provide greater protections of life and property at minimal costs. Read more here.

Code Council completes first technical review of SolarAPP+ software for alignment with the I-Codes

The International Code Council finds that the Solar Automated Permit Processing Platform (SolarAPP+) aligns with the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) and the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) for one and two-family residential dwelling rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar PV connected battery and storage systems. This determination comes as part of the Code Council’s continued

collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to improve the utility of SolarAPP+ for local governments that use the model codes developed by the Code Council. “NREL and the SolarAPP+ coalition are immensely grateful for the Code Council’s commitment to our mission of delivering more efficient online solar and solar and storage permitting,” said Jeff Cook SolarAPP+ Program Lead, NREL. “This announcement is exciting, though not unexpected, given we have been collaborating with the Code Council on SolarAPP+ since its inception.” Read more here.

The U.S. Department of Defense announces new property maintenance standards for military housing

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) announced its use of a uniform code of basic housing standards to regulate safety, comfort and habitability of DoD government-owned family housing built on the International Code Council’s International Property Maintenance Code. The announcement follows the approval of the 2020 and 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which collectively require the DoD to establish and implement a unified code based on a consensus-based, model property maintenance code for privatized military housing, government-owned and government-controlled housing located inside or outside the United States. Read more here.

DOE releases energy-saving requirements for federal buildings and new standards for appliances

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the release of new energy efficiency requirements for federal buildings that will take effect in 2023. Along with these requirements, the DOE also proposed new standards for residential room air conditioners and pool heaters to help consumers save on utility

bills. The new codes and standards are estimated to potentially save more than $15 billion in net costs over the next 30 years and allows the federal government to lead by example in energy efficiency. In April of 2023, all new federal buildings, and major retrofits to existing federal buildings, must comply

with the International Code Council’s 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the 2019 ASHRAE Standard 90.1. According to the DOE, implementation of the IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1 will save $4.2 million dollars in operating costs within the first year. Read more here.

REGISTER NOW: Free webinar on performance-based structural fire design is scheduled for May 10

The International Code Council will join the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and the Charles Pankow Foundation on Tuesday, May 10, to host a free webinar on expanding the implementation and adoption of performance-based structural fire design. This webinar will provide an overview for individuals who are involved with the design, construction or regulatory approvals of buildings. Read more here.

ICC IAS’ Building Department Recognition program spotlights Palm Bay building department

The Building Department of the city of Palm Bay, Florida, is the first in the United States to be recognized in the Building Department Recognition program by the International Accreditation

Service (IAS). IAS is an independent, non-profit accreditation body that has been providing accreditation services since 1975. The IAS recognition is for building and code enforcement departments, as well as third-party companies who have demonstrated a commitment to service, safety and continuous improvement. Building departments are assessed for permitting, plan review, inspection and property maintenance code enforcement services. Departments that can demonstrate that they meet the requirements are awarded the IAS Building Department Recognition Certificate that provides evidence the department is operating at an elevated level of efficiency and technical quality. Read more here.

Update to the  2021  International  Residential  Code  on  under-slab  vapor  barriers

 In Episode 46, Steve Jones, Code Council Lead Senior Government Relations Regional Manager, talks with Dario Lamberti, General Manager of the Engineered Films Division at ISI Building Products on a recent update to the 2021 International Residential Code on under-slab vapor retarders. They go in- depth on the significance of this code update; the manufacturing, installation and selection of high- performance vapor barriers; and the overall importance of engaging in the code development process.

Code Council’s PMG team organizing a free comprehensive webinar May 24 on ‘Backflow Basics’

The Code Council’s PMG team is organizing a roundtable discussion and Q&A webinar 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern on May 24 titled “Backflow Basics: Repair, Testing and Maintenance.” The webinar is part of a series of webinars during 2022 Building Safety Month and will highlight repair, testing, maintenance and inspections methods and assemblies used to protect potable water. The Building Safety Month webinar series is designed to focus on a specific theme that is critical to building safety including “Exploring Careers in Building Safety” (week two), “Understanding the Four Phases of Emergency Management” (week three) and “Creating a Safe and Abundant Water Supply” (week four). Throughout the month- long campaign, a series of free virtual events will take place including:

  • Building Your Future: Career Paths for Military Veterans, May 10, 2-3 pm ET: This webinar will uncover the challenges, opportunities and resources available for military veterans considering a career in building safety.
    • Facebook Live, May 10, 1 pm ET: The Facebook Live event will feature Matthew Winn, the Code Council’s Senior Vice President of Training and Education, exploring careers in building safety and the importance of training and education for building safety professionals.
    • Pool Owner Safety 101, May 25, 2-3 pm ET: This webinar, co-sponsored by the Code Council and the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, is a must for new pool owners or those considering a swimming pool to ensure that pools are both safe and enjoyable for many years to come.

Register for these events and more on the Building Safety Month events page. This year’s Building Safety Month Foundational Sponsor is the American Gas Association. Week one sponsors include the National Multifamily Housing Council, American Concrete Institute and the Gypsum Association. To see the full list of sponsors, click here.

Code Council’s Evaluation Services welcomes Craig Morr as vice president of quality systems

The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) welcomed Craig Morr as its new vice president of quality systems. With an extensive background in operations, quality and compliance, Morr has served on several boards and committees, including the International Accreditation Service and the American National Standards Institute. He brings his expertise in conformity assessment standards, quality management systems, lean process management as well as regulatory and accreditation processes. Read more here.