Code Development

Codes and Standards
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Contacts: Craig Drumheller
cdrumheller@nahb.org
(202) 266-8565

Gary Ehrlich
gehrlich@nahb.org
(202) 266-8545

As technology and building science continue to develop, their advancements are often reflected in the International Code Council (ICC) series of model codes. NAHB reviews the codes and identifies changes that either have a negative impact on the building industry and home buyers or that will save builders time and/or expenses during construction.

NAHB staff offers expert advice and assistance in code adoptions locally as well. Contact a staff liaison.

The ICC code development process is fair and equitable, designed to create the best and most comprehensive set of building codes available. However, it is critical to ensure that impractical and biased code change proposals are not approved in the next edition of the building codes. This can only be done if home builders, remodelers and their trade partners step up to keep housing safe and affordable for home buyers.

The final decision makers are government officials that have been validated by ICC. This group is primarily made up of building code officials. NAHB encourages all members to maintain productive relationships with their local building code officials and ensure they are eligible to vote for the next editions of the International Code Council’s family of model codes.

Here is the four-step process to make sure that happens:

  • Build relationships with your local code officials
  • Urge your code officials to participate in the ICC code development process
  • Seek opportunities to discuss building codes with your local code officials
  • Champion NAHB positions on code change proposals with your code officials

NAHB’s One and Done campaign makes this process much easier for members. Sign up today.

ICC Online Governmental Consensus Vote

The final step in the annual ICC code development process is the Online Governmental Consensus Vote. In 2021, the online vote begins Oct. 15 and is open for two weeks. During that period, governmental voting representatives approved by ICC to participate in the process will be able to cast their votes online.

NAHB has prepared two proposal position guides that provide descriptions and NAHB’s recommended positions on proposals that will improve the building codes. One guide lists all the proposals that NAHB believes will have a positive/negative impact on the construction industry. The second guide is a shorter list of just the proposals that have been identified as “High Priority.” We encourage NAHB members to share these position guides with their local code officials:

NAHB strongly supports building codes that result in safe, decent, and affordable housing, in alignment with our organizational mission “to protect the American Dream of housing opportunities for all.”

When evaluating proposed changes to model building codes, NAHB puts homeowners first using a three-pronged approach to assess the impact of a new code requirement:

  • Need: Is the proposal truly needed, with real-world cases demonstrating an urgent safety, mechanical, electrical, or other issue that should be addressed through the code to protect homeowners?
  • Effectiveness: Will the proposal, as written, solve the need identified?
  • Homeowner Acceptance: Is the proposal likely to meet with homeowner acceptance, including cost impact?

These voting guides highlight recommendations for the upcoming ICC online voting after careful consideration by NAHB members and staff using the criteria above. All recommendations put homeowners first and offer supporting rationales.

NAHB members are end users of model building codes and have the most experience of any stakeholder in evaluating the necessity and efficacy of code changes. But our primary responsibility is to the true end users of building codes: Homeowners.

ICC Code Development Resources

Leadership
<p>Resources for Senior Officers, the Leadership Council, Transitional Board, State Reps, NACs and committees.</p>

Leadership and Committees

Leadership and Committees

Resources for Senior Officers, the Leadership Council, Transitional Board, State Reps, NACs and committees.

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Councils
<p>Providing members the opportunity to network and develop policies that benefit their areas of interest.</p>

Councils

Councils

Providing members the opportunity to network and develop policies that benefit their areas of interest.

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Meetings
<p>Explore upcoming NAHB meetings and events.</p>

Meetings

Meetings

Explore upcoming NAHB meetings and events.

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