This week, NMHC began to make the apartment industry’s case for cost-effective and practical building codes as the first round of International Code Council (ICC) 2024 Committee Action Hearings convened and started consideration of the next editions of the I-Codes. NMHC is actively participating in the hearings, advocating for specific proposals important to the multifamily industry.
The ICC produces the most widely used family of codes and standards, which provide minimum requirements for all aspects of multifamily design and construction and often serve as the basis for state and local building codes. Approximately 900 code change proposals were submitted this year and NMHC is particularly focused on holding back onerous proposals related to fire protection, building egress and accessibility.
NMHC participates in the code development process to ensure that the unique needs of the multifamily industry are considered and that proposed changes do not unnecessarily undermine the affordability and availability of housing. Once the ICC hearings conclude on May 5, NMHC will review the outcomes and begin preparation for the next set of hearings in the fall. More information about the 2024 ICC code cycle is available here.
In addition, the ICC has announced a major change to how the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) will be developed. They have removed development of the IECC from the existing Governmental Consensus Process used for the other I-Codes and will instead use an ANSI standards process.
The future of the IECC has important impacts for multifamily construction. Recent updates to the IECC have included significant new requirements for multifamily buildings and the new scope of the IECC signals even greater changes for the industry. ICC has promoted “a new scope and intent for the IECC that integrates pathways to reach zero energy buildings presently and by 2030, additional energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction options, and increased energy savings each edition.”
The IECC is now seeking members for a new IECC Committee and we encourage interested NMHC members to apply. It is extremely important that the apartment industry be represented on this committee. ICC committees require a sustained level of commitment for the membership term, but participants will be establishing the foundation for future IECC codes. Participation from multifamily practitioners ensures the committee considers the unique needs of the sector and provides an important perspective on real-world impacts of proposed changes. Applications are due April 23 and can be submitted here: https://www.iccsafe.org/products-and-services/energy-application/. Find additional information about committee membership, committee meetings and general committee FAQs here: https://support.iccsafe.org/?ht_kb_category=iecc-development-committees.