PSA: Proposal to Move ICC Codes to Five-Year Cycle Defeated

During the 10th Annual Business Meeting (ABM) of the International Code Council (ICC) in October, the ICC Board considered a resolution to extend the code development and publication cycle for ICC codes. The resolution was submitted by the Washington Association of Building Officials, who were concerned about the cost of purchasing new code books and the time required to train code officials on the new codes.

“According to ICC Board President Stephen Jones and CEO Dominic Sims, ICC members expressed their support for the three-year code development cycle by turning down a resolution that would have lengthened the three-year code cycle to a longer cycle, not to exceed five years,” said Sara Yerkes, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, ICC. “The ICC Resolutions Committee, after careful review, recommended that members disapprove the resolution because it could negatively impact the construction industry, damage relationships with standards developing organizations, and set back efforts to reduce the cost of construction,” she said. “The committee and members recommended further review of this issue and the ICC Board has committed to an open dialog on this matter in 2014. Timely adoption and enforcement of ICC model building codes provide worldwide minimum standards for safety, resilience, and affordability.”

Had the resolution been successful, it would have had an impact on all 50 states, similar to the movement in some states to move from a three-year code adoption cycle to a six-year cycle. The delay in publication of a new code would automatically delay adoption and implementation of that code in a state. This could result in the delay of implementation of improved safety requirements, new technologies, and other negative impacts.

The debate at the ABM resulted in the resolution being defeated by a vote of 63 percent opposed to 37 percent in favor. This result suggests that the issue will likely arise again.