ICC 2018 Codes Changes Largely Positive Thanks to NAHB Members

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The results of the ICC Group A 2018 model codes vote have been finalized, and NAHB got many of the changes it was hoping for – and blocked many undesired changes – thanks in large part to member mobilization. Overall, NAHB saw favorable votes on 87% of the codes proposals, including 92.5% of high-priority proposals. One notable win was a code that will allow tall buildings – up to 18 stories in height – to be built using mass timber framing. This may be a cost-effective way for builders to construct mid-rise multifamily housing. A notable disappointing result also involved taller buildings: Mid-rise multifamily buildings will need to have commercial-type sprinkler systems (NFPA 13) installed rather than the traditional residential sprinkler systems (NFPA 13R). NAHB produced a voting guide highlighting the proposals that were most impactful on home builders. NAHB members who signed up for the One & Done campaign were encouraged to share the guide with at least one voting code official in their area. "On balance, we are very pleased with the ICC votes, there was a significant increase in votes on proposals identified as high priority by NAHB," said NAHB Construction, Codes and Standards Chair David Sowders, a home builder in Kentucky. "We believe that NAHB members who participated in the One & Done campaign made a real difference changing the results on at least three proposals." After an impressive response from members, most votes went the way home builders wanted. "Although we had success with the inaugural One & Done campaign, we really need more NAHB members to participate this year when the code proposals directly address many of us," noted Sowders. The 2019 Group B vote, slated for this fall, will include the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the International Existing Building Code (IEBC) and the International Residential Code (IRC). The results from Group A and B will be incorporated into the 2021 I-Codes expected to be published late summer 2020. Sign up today for One & Done and help make the building codes environment easier to navigate for home builders. For additional information, contact Craig Drumheller.

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