NMHC and NAA are actively involved in the development of model building codes and standards to ensure that the unique needs of multifamily construction are considered and that proposed changes to codes and standards do not unnecessarily undermine the affordability and availability of housing.
While there are a number of building code and standard-setting organizations, the most widely used set of codes and standards is developed by the International Code Council (ICC).
The codes of greatest significance for multifamily construction during the Group B cycle include: the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the International Existing Building Code (IEBC).
Efforts to significantly increase building energy performance requirements began with the 2009 IECC and the proposed changes to the 2021 IECC continue this push for more aggressive building efficiency increases without comprehensive consideration of the multifamily cost impacts, acceptance of products and practices in residential construction and broader policy implications. Taken together, these proposals would significantly impact the overall design and construction of multifamily properties.
Additionally, the proposed IECC reaches far beyond the traditional scope of the IECC – which focused on building envelope efficiency – into emerging areas including on-site renewables, electric vehicles, energy control systems or sensors and smart technologies.
The ICC publishes more than a dozen national model building codes and standards. These codes are updated every three years and are divided into two groups (Group A and Group B) to stagger the code development process.
Work began on the Group B codes in January 2019, and ICC recently completed the Committee Action Hearings on the covered codes. The below document summarizes the most prominent issues of concern for the apartment industry during this code cycle.
NMHC and NAA published a 2021 Model Code overview document in April of 2018. More information on the ICC code development process, including the entire timeline for Group B codes, can be found here.
Final Public Comment Hearings will be held in October 2019 and will determine what is included in the 2021 code editions, which are published in 2020.