2018 NAHB Chairman of the Board
2018 NAHB Chairman of the Board

Ensuring our customers live in safe, durable homes that are also affordable is a central part of NAHB’s mission. One way to achieve this goal is by building homes to the ICC building codes, which are adopted in whole or in part in most jurisdictions throughout the country. We know that homes that comply with newer versions of the ICC codes are safe and resilient. When Hurricane Irma battered Florida last summer, we saw that homes built to more stringent codes fared better than older homes built to earlier codes. For this reason, NAHB is introducing new ways to help our members easily understand the latest ICC editions. We also want to ensure future editions maintain the same balance of safety, resiliency, and affordability.

NAHB’s Construction Codes and Standards Committee reviewed approximately 3,300 code changes in the previous ICC code cycle. Members and staff participated in the code development process, helping advance pro-industry changes and defeating nearly 92% of code proposals that would add unnecessarily to housing costs.

After the development process was complete, NAHB created a 2018 I-Codes Adoption Kit, which is available to members on NAHB.org/codes. The adoption kit includes a list of the significant changes to the 2018 I-Codes; the cost impact of adopting the newest edition of the International Residential Code; and a list of suggested amendments to share with state and local officials to keep costs down while building safer homes.

We also want future code editions to encourage continued industry growth while protecting homeowners. To this end, we are updating the NAHB Advocacy App to include descriptions of high-priority code change proposals for the 2021 I-Codes. The updates will give builders the information they need to advocate for reasonable, cost-effective codes to support both our customers and our industry. Voting guides for builders to share with local officials will be accessible through the app as well, because member outreach to code officials is critical to our advocacy efforts.

Information on NAHB-identified high-priority code change proposals will be available on the app in April, and it will make a big difference in helping members understand code development and how to fight for reasonable changes. This free, members-only tool will be an invaluable asset in maintaining safe and affordable homes.

Over time, NAHB plans to add even more codes information to the app to help builders on an ongoing basis.

As the housing recovery and our industry gain momentum, we can expect more consumers to buy homes or move to rental properties. I promise you, NAHB will do its part to make sure that builders are prepared to comply with the ICC building codes to deliver safe, affordable homes.