‘Prevent, Prepare, Protect’ are the watchwords for the 2021 Building Safety Month in May

The theme for the 41st Annual Building Safety Month is “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save,” and with everyone’s safety in mind, all Building Safety Month events will be held virtually this year. Each year, the Code Council, its 64,000 members, and professionals across the building safety landscape participate in the educational and interactive campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in the spaces in which we live, work and learn. The weekly themes for the 2021 Building Safety Month are:

  • Week One (May 1-9): Energy & Innovation
  • Week Two (May 10-16): Training the Next Generation
  • Week Three (May 17-23): Water Safety
  • Week Four (May 24-31): Disaster Preparedness

More can be found at www.buildingsafetymonth.org. To view and download this year’s campaign poster, click here. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #BuildingSafety365. Read more here.

ICC Government Relations staff reach out to governors to put code officials on higher vaccine status

Code Council CEO Dominic Sims recently sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urging the classification of code officials as frontline essential workers. This action is aimed at aligning CDC COVID-19 vaccine guidelines and priorities with standing guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designating code officials as members of the nation’s Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. The ICC Government Relations staff recently issued similar letters to state governors to upgrade the priority status of code officials to receive vaccines. Read more here and also here.

Code Council issues statement responding to questions from House Energy and Commerce

Codes and standards are a critical component in reducing energy use, creating energy savings and combating the impacts of a changing climate. For over four decades, the International Code Council and its legacy organizations have led the development of energy codes that have reduced the impact of energy use on the planet and saved consumers billions of dollars. In January, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce contacted the Code Council to request information about its code development process and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This week, the Code Council released information to the Committee that explains our role in helping communities around the world become more energy efficient. Download the response here. For more on the Code Council’s approach to developing energy codes and standards, click here.

News you need to know about validating Governmental Member Voting Representatives (GMVR)

All GMVRs must be validated this year to vote on business matters and elections at the Annual Business Meeting and at the Public Comment Hearings and Online Governmental Consensus Vote this fall. This is the beginning of a new three-year code cycle. All GMVRs need to be validated, even if you previously validated your voters. View the Voter Validation Process FAQs page to get more information. Voting representatives will need to have their credentials validated no later than Aug. 21, 2021. The validation site is open, so don’t delay — validate today. Make sure your Governmental Member status is up-to-date. New and reinstating Governmental Members must join by March 12 in order to validate GMVRs.

Don’t miss Thursday’s first-in-a-series webinar on off-site construction and regulatory approaches

You are invited to the first in a series of webinars that introduce off-site construction to Code Council members and stakeholders regarding ICC’s off-site construction business plan. This free webinar covers common technologies and processes for commercial and residential buildings, the key participants in the off-site construction process, and the general regulatory approaches used. The first of the webinar series is “Introduction to Off-Site Construction.” This hour-long course, sponsored by Modular Building Institute and USG Structural Panels, starts at noon Eastern Time on February 4. Register now.

Chapter annual reports and nominees for the 2021 ICC annual awards are due March 15

The Annual Report deadline for Chapters wishing to participate in the Chapter of the Year Award program and the Chapter Rewards program is March 15. Chapter leaders may go to their “myICC” page and click on “Chapters” to submit their reports. Vice President ICC Member Services Karla Higgs will be posting the information soon for submitting nominees for the annual awards that are presented at each year’s Code Council Annual Business Meeting. Click here to view the 2020 award recipients.

Application period ends February 26 for FY 2020 AFG Fire Prevention & Safety grants through FEMA

The deadline is February 26 to apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) grants. FEMA is hosting webinars through February 16 to familiarize potential applicants with the program. The FY 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) focuses much needed attention on supporting code officials as well as adopting, implementing, and enforcing the codes:

  • Fire code enforcement and awareness is a primary objective of the FY 2020 FP&S grant program.
  • FP&S activities are data-driven, focusing code enforcement activities on decreasing fire losses, structural fires, fire-related deaths, and structural property losses in excess of $25,000.
  • FP&S applications will be evaluated, in part, by a fire department’s commitment to mitigation. This includes adoption and enforcement of a wildland urban interface (WUI) code such as the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC) and commercial/residential sprinkler code adoption and enforcement. A good resource here is the National Fire Sprinkler Association’s 2020 Guide for Fire Sprinkler Tax Incentives which includes recent updates from the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020.

The FY 2020 FP&S grants make wildfire risk reduction, code enforcement and awareness a funding priority. This includes projects that focus on first-time or reinstatement of code adoption and code enforcement, including WUI fire codes for communities with a WUI-wildfire risk.

Improved interactive map tools update building safety professionals on state and global adoptions

The Code Council recently re-launched new and improved tools for building safety professionals and the public to access free information about building code usage in their communities. One is the U.S. code adoption database, which is an interactive map that shares code adoption information at the state and local level. The new and improved version of the database map was created in partnership with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) and the Insurance Services Office (ISO). This one-of-a-kind code adoption tool displays which codes are adopted within each state/jurisdiction and provides context and links to further code information. The most current adoption information is maintained across the site through a collaboration effort between the Code Council, FLASH and ISO. The second is the Global Building Codes Tool, which provides information about the building codes and standards used in countries around the world. Users may select a country from the world map to view information about the respective building safety regulation agencies, and the building codes and standards referenced and enforced within that country. Read more here.

Work begins on Group A proposals for virtual Committee Action Hearings set for April 11 to May 5

Work is under way to post the Group A proposed code changes for the virtual Committee Action Hearings, slated for April 11 to May 5. The Group A Codes include the International Building Code (IBC-Egress, IBC-Fire Safety, IBC-General); International Fire Code; International Fuel Gas Code; International Mechanical Code; International Plumbing Code; International Property Maintenance Code; International Private Sewage Disposal Code; International Residential Code (IRC-Mechanical, IRC-Plumbing); International Swimming Pool and Spa Code; International Wildland-Urban Interface Code; and International Zoning Code. The hearings starting April 11 offer code officials, architects, builders, engineers, designers, contractors and other interested parties the opportunity to provide input on proposed code changes to the Group A codes.

ICC launches the new Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction webpage as an information resource

The Code Council’s new Energy Efficiency and Carbon Reduction webpage has been launched to meet the broad needs of our membership, whether they are implementing the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or seeking advanced energy and carbon reduction codes and policies beyond the 2021 IECC. On the website, users will find resources for adoption, compliance and enforcement, a toolkit for advanced energy efficiency, and a searchable database of resources and model policies. Read more here from Michele Britt, former director of energy programs at the International Code Council.