Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 HB 121 Building Code Amendments and HB 125 Fire Code Amendments

As an architect, I have dealt with grassroots national standards and have done so for 35 years, including before I was an architect. There are 350 ICC (International Code Council) chapters around the country and also in other countries. Members include building officials, contractors, architects, engineers, and others. The ICC is truly grassroots. Using experiences, good and bad around the country, they produce our model building codes, including mechanical codes, etc.

Utah also has a Utah Uniform Building Code Commission that proposes amendments to the model codes for Utah. Each year they bring amendments to the building and fire codes that make sense for Utah. They don't always agree, but bring to the legislature their best compromise.  The amended model codes are adopted every 3 years and for those years the number of amendments increases. 2016 is a critical year, as most codes change this year, especially since the legislature failed to adopt the amended 2014 electrical code in 2015. 

2016 HB0121 Building Code Amendments
2016 HB0125 Fire Code Amendments
are their recommendations along with the Utah Fire Prevention Board.

It is my proposal again this year that their recommendations be treated like a base budget bill and passed. Any other proposed amendments be treated like a supplemental budget bill, where those changes can be fought over separately.

Prior to 2010, the board adopted the codes though DOPL. Since then, the legislature has adopted the changes as bills. Part of their recommendations were not adopted in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, their entire recommendations didn't pass because of time. This was not because they didn't submit their recommendations in October or November prior to the session, but because we were still trying to change not only their recommendations but the code adoption cycle, something they don't agree with.

Many of these groups reluctantly agreed last year, as they felt they were over a barrel. This year, almost all of those groups are not supporting the code adoption cycle change or any bill that didn't go through their very public and detailed process.

2016 HB 121 and HB 125 are supported by building officials, counties, cities, architects, engineers, clean air and energy groups, school boards, and the Association of Special Districts.

The clean are groups are supporting these bills because buildings are a very large source of energy use and pollution in the state. While those groups didn't get everything they wanted in the submitted compromise, they are supportive of it and believe it will make a big difference. There is a separate bill dealing with improving the clean air of water heaters. It is worth having a separate supplemental policy discussion about.

The Governor appointed members include: See below and 

Uniform Building Code Commission
Patrick J. Tomasino, Facilities Construction & Management,
Casey T. Vorwaller, Fire Official
Alex Butwinski, Utah League of Cities and Towns / Utah Assoc. of Counties Rep.
Justin D. Naser, Professional Engineer
Ron McArthur, General Contractor
Kevin Emerson, Public Member
Vacant, Plumbing Contractor
Bryant F Pankratz, Public Member
Richard E. Butz, Building Official
Christopher D. Jensen, Architect
Chris Joyal, Electrical Contractor

UBCC also has subcommittees which include:

UBCC Architectural Advisory Committee
Gary R. Payne, Building Official
Vacant, Residential/Small Commercial Contractor
Scott Marsell, Building Official
Jerry L Jensen, Architect
David W. Triplett, Architect
Kenney P. Nichols, Architect
James Sullivan, Residentail/Small Commercial Contractor

UBCC Mechanical Advisory Committee
Tyler G. Lewis, Utility Company
Roger L. Hamlet, Mechanical Engineer
David A. Wilson, Utah Energy Office
Trent Hunt, Mechanical Engineer
Brent C. Ursenbach, Building Inspector
Dennis L. Thatcher, Building Official
Davud Halverson, Mechanical Contractor

UBCC Electrical Advisory Committee
Rhett Butler, Commercial Electrical Contractor
John S Brunt, Architect
Jason C Van Ausdal, Residential Electrical Bldg Inspector
Joseph Wayne Taft, Professional Engineer - Electrical
Steve Woodman, Licensed Electrician - Instruction
Christopher M. Jensen, Licensed Commercial Electrical Building
David E. Winger, Residential Electrical Contractor
Chris Joyal UBC Commission Liaison

UBCC Plumbing Advisory Committee

Robert C. Patterson, Plumber
Nelson Hooton, Building Inspector
Linda G. Ebert, City / County / State Agency
Jeffrey H. Park, Plumber
Nathan Lunstad, Dept of Environmental Quality
Andrea Gamble, City / County Health Dept.
Jody L. Hilton, Building Inspector
Vacant, Professional Engineer
Vacant, Professional Engineer

UBCC Structural Advisory Committee
Mark Urry, Building Official
Jerry B. Thompson, Building Inspector
Michael D. Buehner, Professional Engineer
Vacant, Home Builders Assn
Jerel Newman, Professional Engineer
Peter W. McDonough, Professional Engineer
Jeremy L. Achter, Professional Engineer

UBCC Fire Protection Advisory Committee/Unified Code Analysis Council
Jeffrey Darr, Contractor - Fire Suppression
Casey T. Vorwaller, Uniformed Building Code Commission Liaison
Paul E. Bauer, Building Inspector
James M. Williams, Architect
Thomas W. Peters, Building Inspector
Vacant, Contractor-Fire Suppression

UBCC Education Advisory Committee
John A. Chase, Electrical Building Inspector
Craig C. Browne, General Bldg. Insp.
Patrick J. Tomsino, Mech. Bldg. Insp.
Kathy LeMay, Plumbing Bldg. Insp.
Jim Thomas, Electrical Contractor
Jennifer A. Saunders, Educator
Rob Allen, Mech/Plumbing Contractor
Kevin C. Phillips, Architect or Prof. Engineer
Shane Honey, Factory Housing
Richard E. Butz, UBC Commission Liaison

The Utah Fire Protection Board
is appointed by the Governor and currently includes members from the following groups:
  • Building official
  • Citizen appointed at large
  • City or county official
  • Fire Marshal’s Association of Utah
  • Licensed architect
  • Licensed engineer
  • Member of the State Firemen’s Association
  • State Fire Chief’s Association
  • State Forester
  • State Labor Commissioner