Code Council assists more states as Louisiana gets HUD approval for $1.2 billion flood mitigation plan

Other states are watching as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approves Louisiana’s action plan for spending $1.2 billion in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds, allowing the state to move forward with a plan aiming to reduce flood risk for Baton Rouge and other cities. The plan outlines the state’s approach to funding mitigation projects, data collection, watershed modeling and policy measures that align with the long-term resilience objective of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative. Consistent with support the Code Council provided in comments to the then Draft Action Plan, the approved plan provides (1) $24 million for watershed planning that can be used to support the adoption and implementation of modernized codes and (2) more than $570 million for local and regional watershed programs, which can support code enforcement activities, training, and certification in building methods. The state expects the funding to become available in spring 2020 and is prepared to begin using these funds as soon as they are available to make significant investments in low-risk, high-impact projects to reduce flood risk throughout the state. Currently, California, Georgia and Missouri have open comment periods and ICC members are encouraged to participate in public comments and hearings on state CDBG-MIT plans. This is significant funding that can be used for code adoption and updating and for staffing and training if states choose to prioritize those activities for funding. The Code Council will work closely with state chapters and partners to leverage these resources for needed adoption, enforcement, certification, and training activities in the state. Read more.

2020 Building Safety Month’s weekly themes illustrate the reach and importance of the building codes

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

Organizational changes outlined as the ICC Fire Code Action Committee kicks off its 2020-2023 cycle

The Code Council is ready to kick off the 2020-2023 cycle of Fire Code Action Committee (FCAC) with an organizational consolidation in the process. “All FCAC Regional Work Groups (RWGs) are adjourned and we encourage former RWG members and all other interested parties to shift their energy and contributions to the FCAC Task Group process,” Chief Michael O’Brian, Chair – FCAC, said. “The goal of FCAC Task Groups is to solicit input from members across a variety of backgrounds to aid in the development of code change proposals that address a focused concern while keeping input fluid.” Individuals interested in serving on FCAC Task Groups are encouraged to reach out to Task Group points of contact or chairs directly to engage in the process. For more information, email Karl Fippinger, kfippinger@ICCSafe.ORG.

Senate and House members submit bipartisan bill to promote stronger private, public infrastructure

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Tina Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Don Bacon (R-NE), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) recently introduced the bipartisan Built to Last Act to help local communities and private firms build stronger infrastructure to withstand severe weather events. “In recent years, communities in Wisconsin have been hit particularly hard by severe weather events and flooding that has washed out roads, closed local businesses and damaged highways and bridges,” Baldwin said. “This reform will not only ensure we are better protecting our infrastructure, but it will also save taxpayer dollars.” Noting Florida’s experience in recent years, Senator Rubio said, “Florida’s public and private building standards are already among the most stringent in the nation, including the requirement to withstand major hurricanes. The Built to Last Act would bolster our preparedness by improving the Federal Government’s capacity to share projections of weather-related risks to our communities and provide guidance for building codes, ensuring that the infrastructure we build in the future is more resilient to weather impacts.” For more, click here.

Code Council is among sponsors of National Community Development Week April 13-17

The Code Council is among the sponsors of the National Community Development Week to be commemorated April 13-17 across the nation. The effort calls attention to the importance of the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which provides funding to assist communities in building rehabilitation as well as updating building codes and providing books, materials and training, and enforcement staffing. Updated codes and training are essential to making communities more resilient and protected from natural and human-caused disasters. Click here for a downloaded copy of the NCDW toolkit to plan your community’s events.

SAVE THE DATE! June 8-10 are the dates for the 2020 ICC Chapter Leadership Academy in Denver

On June 8-10, 2020, the Code Council will host its fifth annual Chapter Leadership Academy at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Denver, Colo.  This highly popular event for ICC Chapter activists focuses on management skills for ICC Chapters. Chapters may use their benefit to finance one person (the Chapter President or designee) to the Leadership Academy in Denver or to the 2020 Annual Conference in October in St. Louis.

Deadline to complete ICC Chapter Annual Report using “new, improved” online format is April 15

The deadline to complete the annual report has been extended to April 15, located on the ICC website. To open it, log in to your myICC page and click on “Chapters.” Then follow the prompts to “Add Annual Report.” When you choose to complete the two-part report, your Chapter will be eligible for all benefit programs, including your Chapter Education Benefit Day, the Chapter Rewards Program, and the Chapter Awards program. Questions or comments? Contact ICC Chapter Relations office by phone 888-ICC-SAFE x5268, or email chapters@iccsafe.org.

Women in Construction Week marks progress in the nation’s workplace and career opportunities

This first week of March 2020 is also Women in Construction Week, which annually highlights women as a vital component of the construction industry. The week marks a time for the industry to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that by the end of 2016, there were approximately 939,000 women employed in the construction industry. While that seems impressive it’s actually only nine percent of the U.S. construction industry, a relatively small percentage when compared to other industries. Despite making up a fraction of the current construction workforce, women are poised to move toward the forefront of the industry with a slow, but steady influx of female engineers, architects, project leaders, tradeswomen, contractors and more. Read more about the trend and Women in Construction Week here.

Upcoming from the ICC Learning Center: Institutes, training, seminars, webinars, etc.

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:

The following is the updated list of ICC Institutes and other training opportunities across the nation, many of which offer virtual options for those who cannot travel. Find course listings you’d like to attend in the Learning Center using the Search function:

Certification Test Academies feature interactive and question-based review for the exam. Students will receive a voucher to take the exam at a later date. Upcoming opportunities:

Got Pulse? In Episode 23 features Mark Johnson interviewing ICC General Counsel on copyright issues

Executive Vice President & Director of Business Development Mark Johnson interviews Code Council General Counsel Mel Oncu about the International Codes and copyright issues. Click here to listen.