Local code officials this week will begin voting on proposed changes to building codes. NAHB is asking members to sign up for the One and Done campaign to share home builder positions on proposed changes with code officials. If just one member of each HBA in the Federation shares these positions with one code official, the result will be better building codes.
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 changes are proposed to the building and energy codes, state and local code officials usually agree with home builders: Change is good only when it makes new homes safer and more efficient — without costing so much that home buyers can’t afford them. These officials, like home builders, reject changes that benefit product manufacturers more than home owners.
The International Code Council begins its online governmental consensus vote (OGCV) later this week to determine what changes will be made to building codes. The 2021/22 Group A code development cycle includes several codes of importance to home builders:
- The International Residential Code plumbing provisions
- The International Residential Code mechanical provisions
- The International Building Code provisions concerning egress, general, fire safety, and structural
- The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
- The International Fire and Wildland-Urban Interface Codes
NAHB has created two position guides members can share with their local code officials as they get ready to vote. 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.”
When evaluating proposed changes to model building codes, NAHB puts home owners 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?
- Home Owner Acceptance: Is the proposal likely to meet with home owner 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 home owners first and offer supporting rationales.
Please sign up for One and Done and share the documents with your local code officials so that the building codes continue to prioritize safe, decent and affordable housing.