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Drop ICC membership?

Discussion in 'Association Talk' started by Code Neophyte, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. Code Neophyte

    Code Neophyte Silver Member

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    Our community has been an ICC member since its inception; BOCA before that. In the past several years, our training/ travel budget has been reduced to zero, effectively. Our ISO rating dropped to a 9 from a previous 4. We are on the 2003 edition of the code, because we don't want to face the ugliness of the RFS discussion related to the IRC, so we will not likely ever update....

    We received our ICC membership renewal notice the other day, and I'm wondering why we should renew? Individual inspectors are still allowed to renew their certifications without being members, if I'm not mistaken?
    As I visit the ICC website's "Membership Benefits" page, I see nothing that compels:

    • "Discounts and offers" - I don't plan to buy new code books, etc.
    • "Special Products" - zero interest in whatever those are
    • "Code development" - we don't even have the budget to attend chapter meetings, so we'll never again attend code hearings. Code development has reached the point that there are very few meaningful, significant changes to the core codes. We now require phone booths to be fully sprinklered and be insulated to R-75. Our area will never embrace the IGCC or any of that ....stuff, so we really don't care about code development
    • "Education and certification" - again, I believe we can renew certifications without being members (please correct me if I'm wrong -this may be the only reason to renew) and as stated above, we have no training budget, so we won't avail ourselves of any educational opportunities they may offer
    • "Career Advancement" - ....ummmm.....yeah..........
    • "Committees" - waste of energies and see zero training / travel budget above

    In light of these circumstances, is there any compelling reason to renew membership? Feedback appreciated!
     
  2. cda

    cda Sawhorse

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    For you does not sound like it.
     
  3. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

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    You can participate in code development remotely, and vote on final changes remotely as well.
    Of the hundreds of code change proposals submitted, I'd probably agree that many (not all) are not terribly significant, however the construction industry is constantly innovating and codes need to keep pace with these changes.
    Not updating because you wish to avoid open discussion/debate on the dreaded residential sprinkler issue is short sighted at best. Most adopting entities have amended out or limited the requirement for them.
    If you, or your employers, choose not to renew at least do so for solid reasons.
     
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  4. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Rupert has a few questions!
    Go ahead Rupert, ask your questions, we're all friends here!

    Has the citizens been down to City Hall with pitchforks and shotguns asking why their
    insurance premiums have gone up because of the ISO rating? Why not a 10 rating,
    go for the 10? Having a building department and having to get a permit must give you
    at least a 1 grade, I suspect.

    Will your community require a Certified BO or Inspector when they hire? That
    makes your community a cherry picker!

    Does the ICC or your local chapter have a scholarship program for attending the
    code hearings?

    Does your community have the funds for the latest code books or discs?

    Being a member, you and others in your organization may have several votes to cast
    on code changes depending on your community size correct?

    Is that all you got Rupert?
    I gotta go pee!
     
    JBI likes this.
  5. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    I've heard the 10 in ISO land is reserved for those who refuse to even participate in the BCEGS process.

    My City Manager and Director were agitated when we slipped from 4 to 5, my request to not participate was firmly denied.

    Code Neophyte, it sounds like you and your management have already pretty much made up you minds to not move off the 2003, so I suppose it doesn't make any difference if you are a card carrying paid member of ICC.

    All I will add, is that someday, I can imagine that someone will ask why your community stuck with the 2003, and why your ISO is in the tank, and want some change.

    That will be a huge learning curve for everyone involved, on both sides of the counter.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. Code Neophyte

    Code Neophyte Silver Member

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    Sounds like I need to better explain. After reading the replies (which I very much appreciate, by the way), and then re-reading my OP, I want to clarify that much of the malaise surrounding the ICC that I described belongs to the town board and not so much with me (although it has certainly dimmed my enthusiasm).

    As to the ISO and code adoption: The age of code adoption was a factor in the downgrade, but not the only one. The ISO wanted to see an increase in training budget (I think it's 2% of operating budget, which doesn't at all sound unreasonable) and a few other things that would have required a budgetary commitment, for which there was no support. In fact this year, I have basically no training budget whatsoever. That makes it difficult to be interested in chapter activity, etc. As Fatboy suggested, if you participate in the BCEGS, but score dismally, you are a '9'; if you refuse to participate, ISO does not recognize even the mere existence of your program and assigns a '10'.

    It also is not me that does not want to engage in the RFS discussion. In fact, if the decision were left to me, we would have had a very thorough fleshing out of the issue and let the chips fall where they may. The powers that be wanted to preempt the whole thing by removing RFS from the get go. I wasn't interested in advocating for a lessening of public safety as a first step in the process.

    These are all symptoms of a jurisdiction in the throes of a budget crisis, which also places little value on its building department and adopted codes.

    Personally, I find the ICC to be of less value to me professionally. I can't tell you the last time I visited their clunky website for any purpose. I have emailed for a few code interpretations and receive no response - not even an acknowledgement.

    The code development process is of little interest (I have attended hearings in the past, but as I stated above, the changes now that are of such little significance that it doesn't seem worth the time to engage in). If I am still able to renew my certifications without our jurisdiction being a member, that is really my only concern at this point. At the same time, if the jurisdiction does not budget for training to maintain the certifications, why should I care?
     
    JBI likes this.
  7. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

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    Code Neophyte, you have plenty company especially with small staffs. As for ISO, many here have also discussed not participating any longer with the possibility of reviews from every 5 to 3 years or annually.

    FWIW:
    BCEGS assesses the building codes in effect in a particular community and how the community enforces its building codes, with special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards. Municipalities with well-enforced, up-to-date codes should demonstrate better loss experience. Reducing catastrophe-related damage and ultimately lowering insurance costs provide an incentive for communities to adopt the latest building codes and enforce them rigorously.

    Through the BCEGS program, ISO assigns each municipality a Building Code Effectiveness Classification from 1 (exemplary commitment to building code enforcement) to 10 for both commercial and residential construction. The building's classification is based on the community classification in effect at the time the building is constructed. The BCEGS classification will apply to buildings receiving a certificate of occupancy in the year the classification becomes effective and subsequent years. That classification will remain with the building, even if ISO subsequently reevaluates a community. It's conceivable that as a building department improves over time, a community could have more than one classification. Insurers and individual policyholders benefit from reduced losses in communities with favorable classifications.

    Ultimately it's the underwriters that set the rates, with emphasis on losses.

    https://www.verisk.com/siteassets/media/images/downloads/commercial-property/building_underwriting_report.pdf
     
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  8. HForester

    HForester Member

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    Code Neophyte said:

    "Personally, I find the ICC to be of less value to me professionally. I can't tell you the last time I visited their clunky website for any purpose. I have emailed for a few code interpretations and receive no response - not even an acknowledgement."

    I will agree that the ICC website is clunky for some things. However, it doesn't seem plausible that you couldn't get responses to email inquiries. Did you follow-up with a phone call? They have a call center who does try to get you to someone to try to answer your questions.
     
  9. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    I went through the audit process with the ISO lady, gathered all the information she wanted, wasted a bunch of time on it, blah, blah, blah. Everything in the department has improved since the last audit - code version is newer, inspector is much (MUCH!) more qualified/certified than the last one, records are more organized, volume of permits and inspections is up, CO's issued is up, etc. - and they still wanted to give us a lower rating then we already had. Nonsense.

    So we opted out. First, I called every insurance peddler in the County - not a one of them had ever heard of the BCEGS. Then, I called a couple of the corporate folks, who are represented by the local guys - none of them had ever heard of the BCEGS, either.

    We have a volunteer fire dept., who is not technically associated with the City. Their ISO score is fantastic, and has been improving every time they're audited for the last several cycles. The insurance folks were familiar with that rating, and said we should concentrate our efforts on it. So that's what we'll do.
     
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  10. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

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    Fixed it to the way it works around here...
     
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  11. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    Yeah, where I had to scramble like crazy to get ours back to a 4, our (paid) Fire Department came in at a solid 1.
     
  12. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    I've often wondered about ISO ratings, everything insurance companies do seems to be crooked, I wonder what the dollar difference is between the various ratings?
     
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  13. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    Ya..Inquiring minds want to know!
     
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  14. jpranch

    jpranch Platinum Member

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    Fatboy, as usual you are right on target!!!
     
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  15. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

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    Hey Jim, off subject but have you heard the steps Wyoming is taken to attract business from over-regulated California?


    ¹ https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/wyoming-blockchain-bill-rockets-ahead-signing/
     
  16. Min&Max

    Min&Max Silver Member

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    Oh how I wish we had not gone down the ISO road. It is filled with potholes. Here is some interesting info--1). ISO ratings are by range. 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and the miserable 10. If my community scores a six, the insurance rating(premium) is calculated at the same rate as your community that scored a 4, 2). So praise the lord you scored a 3, that 3 only applies to dwellings constructed during this review period. All other dwellings receive the rate they received during their review period, forever. 3). Many insurance companies care little about ISO ratings. Their rates(premiums) are based on loss history--which they use your zip code to determine.
    Single biggest reason to complete ISO--use to get training and continuing ed from elected officials.
     
  17. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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    I'd suggest calling your local insurance guys and seeing if it really makes a difference. Like I said up there ^^^, no one in my town had ever heard of the building department rating, and their overlords in the corporate world (couple of big name ins. co's.) didn't give a hoot about it. If your fire department has a good ISO PPC score, I don't think the BCEGS score means a darn thing as far as insurance rates.
     
  18. JCraver

    JCraver Sawhorse

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  19. Pcinspector1

    Pcinspector1 Platinum Member

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    The ISO was in Chicago now its out of Jersey, can you read anything into that?

    ISO was going to raise our residential rating and we did'n't even have a single family subdivision in construction phase.

    The ratings would only effect remodels and additions. So the scam is the insurance company will raise everyone's rates, wouldn't want that in the local paper.

    By the way, how would that get in the local paper? ISO maybe?:eek:
     
  20. RJJ

    RJJ Platinum Member

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    Interesting thread. Out of 4 communities I handle only one has had ISO review. That community had two reviews and a great deal of wasted time. From the first one to the second the score increased or to say a better rating. No decrease in any insurance cost to the residence. The biggest problem the lady had was I did not use a check list to do may inspections. On both reviews a great deal of time was spent on this issue. I am not sure if there is any value in this review process.
     

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