The Code Council’s High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP) started in 2008 to introduce high school students to building codes and the field of building safety. Since its inception, the program has been implemented in more than 20 states, with over 60 participating schools providing certificates to more than 1,500 students. Over the past year, the Code Council updated the HSTTP website, adding new resources and electronic forms to improve the experience for students and instructors. The Code Council has also showcased participating high school groups at its Annual Conference for the last two years. The Technical Training Program continues to expand throughout the country among high schools, colleges, adult programs and military support organizations. For more, click here.
The Code Council recently announced the release of its 2021 International Plumbing Code (IPC) and International Mechanical Code (IMC). Building codes play a significant role in maintaining safe and healthy communities – permitting more resilient, sustainable and livable structures for generations to come. The IPC and IMC are revised on a three-year cycle through the Code Council’s highly respected consensus code development process that draws upon the expertise of hundreds of plumbing, mechanical, building and safety experts from across North America. With updates every three years, building codes allow for ongoing consideration of new technologies and scientific understandings. “It’s critical for our codes to adapt to new building practices, technologies and societal needs. Our 2021 IPC and IMC take these needs into consideration and aim to promote safety above all else,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO. “Construction is ever-evolving, and how we prepare trades professionals matters more now than ever.” Click here for more information. “The Economic Impact of the International Plumbing Code,” a study by Hatch and Henderson Engineers that provides a comparative analysis of model plumbing codes, is available by clicking here.
Joan O’Neil was recently named the Code Council’s new Chief Knowledge Officer, a role which will help the Code Council enhance its digital transformation by creating an enterprise-wide digital strategy for products and services. O’Neil brings extensive experience in leading professional learning and Educational Technology (EdTech) Solution businesses. Previously, she served as Vice President of Skillsoft Corporation, an eLearning provider that delivers professional development to organizations. Prior to that, she was an Executive Vice President for Wiley, where she developed strategies to lead the organization’s digital learning and publishing enterprise. As an objective set by the Code Council’s Vision 2025 Strategic Plan, the association is focused on increasing value for its members and the building safety community by providing leading solutions that members and customers may access from any digital device. In her role as Chief Knowledge Officer, O’Neil will be responsible for strategy, planning, and development of the association’s knowledge infrastructure and products that meet the needs of Code Council members and customers. Read more here.
The Alliance for National & Community Resilience (ANCR) updated its website to make it easier to access resiliency resources and learn about ANCR and its mission. Highlights of the new website include access to the Buildings and Housing Benchmarks; updates on ANCR activities; access to reports, studies and guidance from ANCR and partner organizations; and information on how to support ANCR and the Community Resilience Benchmarks System through financial contributions, technical support or as an ANCR Pilot Community.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.