The International Code Council Board has created Ad Hoc Committee on Building Safety and Security with a goal of bringing “together experts from across many different disciplines to tackle one of the toughest, most important issues of our time.”
“Our members and our stakeholders are searching for solutions to address the growing need for building safety and security,” says ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims. “This committee was created to enhance ongoing activities at other standards development organizations in the building industry in order to solve some very complicated issues. Together we will continue to improve the construction of safe, sustainable and resilient buildings for our families and communities.”
Building safety is critical to occupants and communities, the Council notes, as owners and public officials seek to address outdated facilities, fire concerns, active shooters and other emergency situations. New and existing buildings’ design, layout and features can have an impact on both safety and security, which touch a myriad of code regulations plus considerations that go beyond code compliance. In addition to studying these issues, the new ICC committee will determine best practices and investigate the need for additional guidelines.
Building Safety and Security will consist of a broad cross section of industry experts, facility owners and managers; federal agency, education sector and security field representatives; code officials; engineers and architects; plus, standards stakeholders like the National Fire Protection Association. Organizations including the American Institute of Architects and UL have also expressed interest in participating.
“After discussions with our partners and members, we have moved swiftly to launch this initiative,” notes ICC Board President Jay Elbettar, P.E., LEED AP. “The committee’s goal is to provide comprehensive, sound and valuable tools to guide local and state leaders as they work to keep all building occupants safe from intruders and other hazards.”
“Safety and security in buildings is of the utmost importance to our children, our coworkers and our communities,” adds ICC Board Director and Committee Chair Angie Wiese, P.E., CBO. “I look forward to working with the design community, building managers, school districts, and local and state leaders to develop the tools we need to keep us safe in emergency situations.”
ARIZONA BLOCK PRODUCERS ADOPT CHECK OFF PROGRAM
Seven of the nine concrete masonry producers serving Arizona have begun voluntary participation in a program funding education, promotion, workforce development, advocacy and building code activities—all geared to increasing block demand. The check off program entails a 2-cent per block collection and is administered under strict confidence by a third party, fully independent of the Arizona Masonry Guild, Phoenix.
The program is modeled on the funding mechanism and mission behind the Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council Inc. It launched in spring 2015 with seven producers—representing upward of 70 percent of Sunshine State CMU shipments—voluntarily committing to a check off of 1-cent/block, since increased to 1.5 cents/block. Arizona program signatories account for an estimated 80 percent of concrete masonry units sold in the state. With full participation, they have the potential to raise $800,000 in the first year.