Help Shape Building Codes with NAHB Voting Guide

Codes and Standards
Contact: Gary Ehrlich
Director, Construction Codes & Standards
(202) 266-8545

Building officials, inspectors and other governmental members of the International Code Council (ICC) will soon begin voting on proposed changes to the International Residential Code (IRC). Changes to the International Existing Building Code (IEBC), the structural provisions of the International Building Code (IBC), and the administrative provisions of all ICC model codes are also under consideration. NAHB has published a voting guide with home builder positions on the most impactful proposals.

The ICC’s Online Governmental Consensus Vote will begin on Oct. 10 and run for two weeks. This voting period will determine what goes into the 2024 IRC, IEBC and IBC.

NAHB has developed a voting guide members can provide to local building officials who will be voting via ICC’s cdpACCESS platform. The voting guide lays out home builders’ positions on a wide range of proposals and contains a “High Priority” section highlighting some of the most impactful proposals.

High-priority proposals that NAHB opposes include:

  • Permit Valuations (ADM 43, Parts I and II): This proposal modifies the section on permit valuations. The proposal includes overly subjective language that allows the permit to be denied if, in the opinion of the code official, the valuation is underestimated.

  • Townhouse Yards (RB53): This proposal sets minimum lengths for townhouse yards or open ways. The language is too restrictive and would prohibit common townhouse designs if approved. The language also does not address attached garages in the perimeter measurements, which will add confusion.

  • Fire-Retardant Coatings (S205): This proposal prohibits the use of fire-retardant-coated wood, except for factory-laminated products and facings or wood veneers applied on site, even under the alternate methods and materials clause. A related IRC proposal (RB74) would make it difficult for coatings to qualify as equivalent protection for I-joists over a basement, as products would have to comply with a new ASTM standard that includes a stringent durability test and requires special inspection of field-applied coatings.

NAHB strongly encourages members to download the voting guide, print a copy or two, and share it with local building officials who are a voting governmental member. Local building officials, especially those in smaller jurisdictions, often agree with home builders and developers in opposing building code proposals that are overly restrictive or unnecessary. NAHB Codes staff can provide lists of validated voters in your state or local jurisdiction.

NAHB 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 by assessing the need for the proposals, their effectiveness, and whether homeowners will accept them and the higher price tags they often bring.

Visit NAHB’s Code Development page for more information on the current development cycle.

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