New Voting Guides Point to Better Building Code Decisions

There are nearly 2,000 proposed changes to the International Code Council (ICC) family of construction codes being considered for the 2018 editions when the ICC meets to vote Oct. 19-25 in Kansas City, Mo.

Some proposals include changes that will increase the cost of construction without a corresponding payback. Fortunately, others have been proposed that would help create a more reasonable, practical and enforceable building code.

That’s why you need a roadmap — or four of them, in fact — so you can help your building official make the most cost-effective choices that benefit your community, rather than product manufacturers.

The NAHB Top 40 Document and the 15 Most Critical Changes highlight those changes that, because of extraordinary expense on the negative side or better building practices on the positive, are most important to the home building industry and to home buyers, whose interests we represent.

NAHB has also developed two voting guides for use during the Kansas City ICC Public Comment Hearings. The Administrative and Energy Codes Voting Guide and the Fire, Residential and Structural Codes Voting Guide provide descriptions of each proposal and the public comments received, then explain why NAHB supports or opposes each of the proposed changes.

Still to come: Engineers and data crunchers at the Home Innovation Research Labs are putting the finishing touches on a cost impact analysis so home builders can better explain how long it takes to recoup the additional costs associated with each proposal. Consumers say they are looking for reasonable paybacks, but some proposals would mean that buyers would have to live in their new homes for decades to recoup the associated costs of each “improvement,” in some cases after that product or feature had already been replaced.

Home builders, remodelers and their trade partners must step up to keep housing safe and affordable for home buyers, who have no say in this vote. For that reason, NAHB encourages builders to contact their local building code officials and ask them to cast their votes in support NAHB’s positions.

Please contact your NAHB staff liaison to obtain the list of eligible governmental member voting representatives in your state and give these guides to each of your eligible code officials in your city or county today.