NAHB Scores Success in Early Round of Code Hearings
In the first round of hearings to determine what amendments will be made to the 2006 editions of the International Code Council (ICC) building codes — including the International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC) — NAHB defeated scores of costly, unjustified proposals that would have eroded housing affordability.
At hearings that were held in Cincinnati on Feb. 22 through March 4, NAHB successfully testified on several hundred of the more than 2,200 proposed amendments that were acted upon.
Among the most onerous of those defeated on the single-family front were proposals requiring: sprinklers in all new single-family homes, 7/11 stair geometry, a significant increase in insulation and energy conservation, hail-resistant shingles in all new construction for much of the country, engineer-designed floor systems, and engineering and a full sprinkler system for all homes over 7,000 square feet.
Among the most onerous on the multifamily side, NAHB defeated proposals to eliminate important design allowances for the installation of sprinklers, require sprinklers in attic spaces, significantly decrease height and area limitations, and to greatly expand annual inspection requirements.
The approval of these and the many other proposals defeated by NAHB would have increased the cost of new construction considerably. Sprinklers alone would have added $3,000-$4,000 to the cost of an average 2,300-square-foot single-family home.
NAHB’s positions on proposed code requirements are determined by careful analysis of existing data on home safety, costs, natural hazards and more. Proposed requirements are also evaluated to determine if they are practical and would produce any significant cost benefits or improvements.
In preparation for the cyclical code hearings, NAHB codes and standards staff evaluated the impact of every proposal. A team of 20-30 builders from NAHB’s Construction, Codes and Standards Committee and subcommittees was then brought in to work with staff over several days to determine NAHB’s position on each.
NAHB’s success rate in ICC approval of proposals supported by the association and disapproval of those that are opposed has been running in the 75%-90% range, and many of the proposals on which NAHB has failed have been less significant in terms of their overall impact on the industry.
For more information on the results of the recent hearings, e-mail Diane Webb at NAHB or call her at 800-368-5242 x8290.
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