ORLANDO, FL — The International Code Council (ICC) is the leading global source of model codes and standards. Moreover, the ICC offers a full suite of building safety solutions including product evaluation, accreditation, technology, training, and certification. With 377 chapters in 38 countries around the world the organization’s work impacts the health and safety of nearly two billion people.
This February 8-10, ICC returned to Design & Construction Week, the combined International Builders’ Show and Kitchen and Bath Industry Show held in Orlando. Both the Code Council and ICC-ES (their Evaluation Service branch) were preferred sponsors of DCW, as well as exhibitors. The Code Council hosted several in-booth presentations to share how ICC-ES solutions can help manufacturers achieve their growth and innovation goals.
The 2024 International Plumbing Code (IPC)
At the booth we got a chance to speak with Matt Sigler, PMG Executive Director for the ICC. Sigler is something of a newcomer to the organization, only working at the Code Council as of July of 2021—but he’s an old hand when it comes to plumbing codes and code development having spent the previous seven years as Technical Director for Plumbing Manufacturers International.
Last year the Code Council released version 2021 of its International Plumbing Code, and they are currently hard at work shepherding version 2024 through development. The IPC has currently been adopted, either at the state or local level, by 37 states as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and Guam. The new version will include updates and adjustments in keeping with the latest data, but Sigler says there will be three big things to look for in 2024:
· New drain and vent vacuum testing for cold climates
· New 2.0 GPM maximum flow rate requirements for showerheads
· An allowance for plastic pans under gas-fired water heaters (previous versions of the code have not allowed plastic pans under any circumstances)
Building Safety Month
This May will see the Code Council’s 42nd annual Building Safety Month. For 2022 the theme is “Safety for All: Building Codes in Action.” Each week also gets its own theme:
Week One (May 1–8): “Planning for a Safe & Sustainable Tomorrow”
Week Two (May 9–15): “Exploring Careers in Building Safety”
Week Three (May 16–22) “Understanding Disaster Mitigation”
Week Four (May 23–31) “Creating a Safe & Abundant Water Supply”
The educational and interactive campaign raises awareness about the importance of building codes in ensuring safety in the spaces in which we live, work, and learn. Each year, the Code Council, its members, and industry professionals from all areas of the design and construction industry highlight building safety through proclamations, events, legislative briefings, and more.
This year, Sigler says, ICC will be educating on water infrastructure, particularly in light of the recently passed infrastructure bill. Topics will include:
· Water reuse and rainwater harvesting systems (for potable and non-potable use, likely in collaboration with ARCSA, the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association)
· Developing a national standard for private sewage disposal systems (likely in conjunction with NOWRA, the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association)
· Educating on the fundamentals of water supply connection
· Starting a focused conversation about the cost and potential of desalinization
Sigler noted that the greatest source of potable water in Israel comes from desalinization plants, while here in the US (despite large plants in both Carlsbad, CA and Tampa, FL) it's only a drop in the bucket. To meet the combined challenges of population growth and climate change, particularly in the western states, the United States needs to take a good look at what investment in desalinization can accomplish.
Developing Premier Training for Plumbing Professionals
You can develop the best codes and standards in the world, but they won’t do anyone any good if they aren’t implemented correctly. To that end, the Code Council is hoping to collaborate with various companies specializing in training (both in-person and virtual). Sigler said that just during his time at DCW he’d encountered one or two companies he could see ICC working with.
Highlighting the importance of training, on February 9th, the second day of Design & Construction Week 2022, ICC announced that it had acquired all assets of Winn’s Career Education, Inc. to integrate with the organization’s staff expertise and provide training resources for plumbing and piping professionals.
Winn’s Career Education, Inc. has primarily served plumbing and piping professionals in Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Colorado. As the Code Council’s very first Platinum Preferred Provider, Winn’s has worked closely and over an extended period with Code Council staff in multiple states. Winn’s has provided co-branded ICC/WCE training materials for live, online, and self-paced courses.
In addition, Matthew Winn, company CEO, will be taking a new position at the Code Council as Senior Vice President of Training & Education.