PA UCC Review & Advisory Committee Begins Work on 2012 Building Codes

The Uniform Construction Code Review and Advisory Council (the “Council”) was established by Act 106 of 2008.  Appointed by the governor, the 19-member Council is drawn from various construction industry trades and professions and local government.  The Council is charged with making recommendations to the governor, the General Assembly and the Department of Labor & Industry regarding proposed changes to Act 45, the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, and reviewing the latest triennial code revisions issued by the International Code Council (ICC) contained in the International Codes enforceable under the Uniform Construction Code.

With the release of 2012’s triennial ICC code revisions, the Council must determine which revisions they should adopt, if any, as part of the Uniform Construction Code.

Act 1 of 2011 made changes to the Council and the code adoption process including: (1) the Council is required to submit a report to the secretary of Labor & Industry within 12 months following publication of the latest triennial codes specifying each code revision that is to be adopted as part of the Uniform Construction Code; (2) public hearings must be held around the commonwealth; and (3) require a two-thirds vote of Council members to approve recommended code revisions.

 

The Council must also apply the following criteria when reviewing the merits of code revisions:

  1. The provision’s effect on the public’s health, safety and welfare;
  2. The provision’s economic and financial effect; and
  3. The provision’s technical feasibility.

The general public may request the Council address a particular subject or issue related to the PA Uniform Construction Code that is within the purview of the Council.  Three public hearings have been scheduled between September and November 2012.  Furthermore, to facilitate this review the Council has developed the “2012 Code Change Recommendation Formwhich must be completed by any person recommending that a specific code change be adopted or not adopted.  Completed recommendation forms must be received by the Council no later than December 31, 2011.

 

The Council is expected to determine controversial versus non-controversial code changes and vote for the adoption of the non-controversial as a group at its first meeting next year, then vote on controversial changes individually.  Proponents and opponents of a code change will be given the opportunity to provide testimony.

 

The final report of recommended code changes is expected be approved by Council members and presented to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry in July 2012.

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