The International Code Council (ICC) has established a new procedure to allow building officials and inspectors to vote on the proposed changes for the 2018 I-codes from their computers without having to attend weeks of hearings. The catch is they have to be “validated” as governmental voters by September 19th in order to have the final say in the contents of the 2018 I-codes. This on-line voting can make the difference between a reasonable, rational, cost-effective code and one ruled by manufacturers and special interests. We’re working hard to see that it does.
Aided by the state’s local Executive Officers who set up the meetings, HBA Michigan’s Lee Schwartz has traveled more than 3,000 miles around the state in August (with more to come in September) to sit down and talk face to face with building officials and inspectors to explain the new process to them and ask them to make sure they have the maximum number of voters (4, 8 or 12 depending on population) verified by the deadline. In addition, individualized letters (SEE BELOW) were sent out to over 250 building officials and inspectors asking them to be sure they’re verified to vote. The response of the building officials and inspectors to our ICC Outreach program has been overwhelmingly positive.
Why is this important? Just look at the 2015 energy code. During the ICC’s Final Action hearings in October of 2013, only 48 governmental voters were present to vote on proposed changes that would affect 125 million families and only 15 were building officials/inspectors. On its own the Massachusetts’s State Sustainability Council had ten voters or 20 percent of the total governmental voters in the hall. That’s why the trade-offs in the energy code, we won during the April 2013 ICC hearings with strong support from the building officials/inspectors were lost in October.
Michigan’s building officials and inspectors are our partners in providing safe, affordable housing for Michigan families. We may not always agree with them on every code requirement but the code is better when building officials and inspectors are fully involved in its creation.