Industry groups call out advocacy suppression at Code Council Conference

Sources: Build With Strength Coalition, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association-backed Build With Strength coalition, along with allies the Portland Cement Association and Steel Framing Industry Association, are challenging International Code Council “advocacy guidelines” that restrict communications during the group’s Annual Conference, Public Comment Hearings and Expo, October 21-25 in Richmond, Va. The event is drawing particular interest from mid- to high-rise construction stakeholders, owing to a scheduled vote on a proposal essentially validating design of wood framed buildings taller than the International Building Code’s current five- to six-story threshold. 

“The ICC proposal would allow for wooden high-rise buildings and signal to local and state building departments across the country that combustible tall wood buildings are an acceptable form of construction,” Build With Strength notes. Under the guise of fairness, the coalition adds, the Council underscores a preference “to shelter membership from viewing critical materials. Given the gravity of the proposals being weighed and impact on code policy throughout the country, the ICC should welcome, not restrict, as much information as possible so that membership can make fully informed decisions. Human life and devastating economic consequences are at stake when combustible wooden high-rise buildings are on the table, and it deserves the highest level of care and educated consideration.”

Advocacy guidelines for the Richmond gathering issued in a statement earlier this month prohibit distribution of information a) at the time of hotel check-in, including leaflets or other printed information at contract hotels; to the individual hotel sleeping rooms at contract hotels, including video broadcasts and outside door or under door drops of materials; and, c) in the common areas of the conference center or contract hotels.