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ICC collapsing

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by CodeWarrior, May 12, 2020.

  1. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Thank you for sharing and for being open and honest.
     
  2. VillageInspector

    VillageInspector Sawhorse

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    Its certainly easy to tell who is in favor of ICC and who is not but here's my two cents, I've been involved with government for over thirty years, the codes since 1997, and the ICC is without a doubt the single most corrupt agency I've ever seen. Not very long after our state adopted the ICC codes the hierarchy of our State Department started retiring in droves. Guess where they all went for their second career? The ICC. We were told once you adopt the ICC code and get familiar with it you will be able to get a job anywhere in the country as this will be a standardized code across the board. I guess they never heard the term "local or state enhancements". I could go on but there is absolutely no doubt the ICC is the worst thing that could had happened to our industry.
     
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  3. Paul Sweet

    Paul Sweet Sawhorse

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    Village Inspector, it's actually the second worst. There was a serious threat of the feds writing a one-size-fits-none national building code in the 1990s and withholding federal funds from any state that didn't adopt it. Can you imagine what would happen if the same ones who gave us OSHA and ADA also gave us a building code, with no amendments allowed.
     
    #43 Paul Sweet, Jun 25, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2020
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  4. VillageInspector

    VillageInspector Sawhorse

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    That's a valid point as well as scary. Not that I'm a huge fan of NFPA but i could have lived with the adoption of NFPA 5000 very easily.
     
  5. ADAguy

    ADAguy Registered User

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    Well spoken MH, the result of our constitutional freedoms and the often unforseen/unexpected results that come from it.
     
  6. tmurray

    tmurray Registered User

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    We have a national code here in Canada. However, it is a model code designed to be adapted by the local jurisdictions. Representation on the code committee is provided throughout the country and has a specific makeup of building/fire officials, members of the public, RDPs, and contractors/developers. Also, no federal funding is tied to its adoption.

    I don't have many complaints with our code. Approached properly, it can be done. Now, would it be approached properly? Apparently not.
     
  7. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

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    Paul, this is a generic post, not directed at you but to everyone in general. I am just using your post due to the context.

    There is no reason why every state can't do what Florida does with the ICC. They use it as a base and then modify it to work for the state. I don't have any I-Codes in my office but modified versions of the FBC. The same basic setup with chapters and some verbatim language, but, for the most part, very specific changes that reflect the needs of this state. We are on the 6th edition of the FBC and soon going to the 7th edition. Even the NFPA 1 has been modified specifically for Florida. The only major code that is not amended is the NEC. Everything else, Building, Residential, Accessibility, Mechanical, Fuel Gas, Plumbing, Existing Building, Energy Conservation, etc. is essentially an ICC code that has been customized for our state. In order to do that, it takes a commission and lots of committees but it is doable and there is no reason why each state can't do that themselves. This way you have what you need, not what you are forced to have. This is way better than adopting the ICC codes then having a pile of state statutes to keep track of.
    Yes, I am a fan of the ICC and have been since my first IRC book in 2000 which I found significantly better than my BOCA book. Get involved in your state and make the changes you need and be happy you have a base code available that already did a lot of the hard work. This way the system and the way the codes are put together are consistent no matter what state you go in and just some of the code requirements may vary. Think forward and if you are going to bash, then how about coming up with a solution.
     
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  8. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

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    I used to work in a state that does the same as Florida. There was a time, I am told, when they considered doing away with their own and going straight ICC, mostly do to the financial burden of running their own state program. That didn't end up happening, not sure if it is still on the table. I can say it was a great system, obviously it was tailored to the state, but it was also way more responsive. I still refer to that code often, to see what they do, to help me be more informed. ICC isn't perfect, nor are the other model state codes I turn to. I have been to the hearings, but I don't see "corruption". I do see mostly well-intentioned people advocating things from a personal perspective without regard for how it affects the broader public. I see people using the code to advance an agenda outside the scope of the missions of the codes (sometimes just to be able to see their names on things). Mostly I see a bunch of people not exercising enough critical thinking.

    I once heard a presenter say to the voting members "I know it's not perfect, but let's get it into the code and we can work on it later" (maybe not an exact quote but darn close.) That is not the way it should work. I don't call that corruption as much as stupidity. Stupidity can usually be fixed, not sure corruption can.
     
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  9. Paul Sweet

    Paul Sweet Sawhorse

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    Virginia also adopts the International codes with state modifications and requires all jurisdictions to use it. It took about 18 months at first, but administrative procedures, publications, response periods, multiple hearings, etc. keep getting more complicated, which dragged the 2015 code adoption out to the fall of 2018!
     
  10. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    I suggest that states have some statutes that deal with building code issues. Thus attempts to adopt the IBC without modification will create conflicts between the IBC and state statutes. Unless the state legislature adopted a specific version of the IBC directly these statutes will govern.

    A legislature that adopts a specific version of the IBC directly is creating something that is almost impossible to modify. I hope that all states have delegated adoption of the building code to a state agency.
     
  11. RickAstoria

    RickAstoria -------------------

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    Oregon has statutes that is to create the state's building code division and the statutory language for establishing state adopted building codes (in this case, called "specialty codes"). However, the statutes defines the title and only a few statutory specific matters like what is and isn't exempt buildings under the architect & engineer's law which would be applicable to what plans requires a stamp or not as well as some others. Otherwise, most of the amendment and the adoption process is defined in the administrative codes of the state's building code division and the actual language of the amendments are in the adopted building code regulation (specialty codes). Basically, state legislature isn't needed for every little amendment to the code. They can be autonomous with the day to day matters without the rigid process of having things go through state representatives and state senators just to get changed. They can make necessary changes (albeit minor in quantity) but they do from HSW perspective so it isn't insignificant. While the code division should have oversight as a public agency and I think they are overseen by the state legislature (to who knows what level of effectiveness), they do need to be able to make code changes without as much administrative hoops with the state legislature which can take years to adopt or have amendments changed when there are other things that the legislature deems more important at the time.
     
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  12. fatboy

    fatboy Administrator

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    Colorado has does not have a State adopted Building Code, it is up to local juridictions to adopt and amend as they see fit.

    In my jurisdiction, all of our amendments create more restrictive requirements, we do not weaken the base code.
     
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  13. Min&Max

    Min&Max Silver Member

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    You state that ICC is corrupt and how you are opposed to corruption and then indicate you approve of NFPA. My god, what planet are you from? ICC may not be perfect but it is head and shoulders above NFPA.
     
  14. Min&Max

    Min&Max Silver Member

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    Here the state adopts the code with few or any amendments and local jurisdictions can amend as they see fit. Works very well and I would not change a thing.
     
  15. CodeWarrior

    CodeWarrior Registered User

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    Well, neither follow a true consensus process for the codes development. Their memberships have the final say unlike ANSI, and other SDOs. Does ICC require a minimum number of votes from those eligible to pass a code?
     
  16. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

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    If a state has authorized a state agency to adopt a state building code the Legislature is not directly involved in the adoption and modification of the building code.

    I think corrupt is too strong a term. This is not an endorsement of ICC but corrupt is not the term.

    The current process results in too much influence by industry interests. Given the volume of amendments I do not believe that a significant number of voting building officials are familiar with and knowledgeable about the provisions being voted on. This is even worse when local jurisdictions attempt to adopt a building code.
     
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  17. CodeWarrior

    CodeWarrior Registered User

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    Our association once detected an error in the code and submitted a code change. We thought this submittal would be straightforward and be accepted. This change, however, if passed would not be coordinated with the source document. The publishers of the source document did not support the change and challenged it. They didn't want to be behind the code. The argument was that their group needed to study the issue first and if they agreed they would place it into their document and then submit it as a code reference. We felt the change was too important to wait that long and proceeded to pursue the change.

    The publisher sent a code consultant to the ICC hearings to mount their challenge. This consultant was a familiar presence at the code hearings, and usually gave sound arguments in his presentations. We sent one of our association members to represent us, as most of us could not make the trip.

    The ICC voting members were almost always persuaded by this consultant and he made his case to disapprove the proposal and wait for his group to handle it. Our rep pleaded that waiting may lead to flawed and unsafe designs, supporting his points with examples. It was as if he wasn't there. The code change was defeated.

    I don't know whether to say the ICC membership was corrupt but they didn't give our proposal a fair treatment. They could be accused of ignoring the facts. And they obviously let the personalities involved rule the day.

    After the item was concluded, this esteemed consultant admitted to our rep that he agreed with our change, but the parties paying his way could not allow themselves to be one-upped and thus sent him over to do his dirty work! Pretty sleazy, right?

    Of course our proposal ended up in the code one edition later than it should have. So much power in the hands of so few . . .

    There are likely other stories like this out there, but here is my personal experience. What a shock.
     
  18. Glenn

    Glenn Corporate Supporter
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    "it's not what you know, it's who you know".

    As much as I stand by the ICC system for developing codes, I admit that popular sentiment definitely appears at times in code development.

    However, as I also stand by, the flaws that at times come from the hearings are the flaws of the humans involved, not the system itself. That statement applies well beyond code development.

    We must start being critical of ourselves (collectively) and not seeking blame in some inhuman process or procedure.
     

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