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NAHB Requests Appeal of ICC Historic Sprinkler Vote

Today, the ICC released the intention of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to request a appeal hearing on RB 64 and RB 66 of the 2007/2008 code development cycle.  The notice of appeal has been transmitted to interested parties by the ICC based on the appeal notification dated October 30, 2008, by the NAHB.  The request by the NAHB claims that the ICC failed in providing a voluntary consensus standard and

The NAHB Claims:

  • ICC states that its International Codes are developed using the governmental consensus process. Further, it claims that the ICC governmental consensus process meets the principles defined in OMB Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities.
  • The appeal Regrettably, voting on code changes RB64 and RB66 demonstrated an unequivocal failure of the ICC code development process to achieve real consensus on these code changes by not preventing a single interest group, specifically the fire service, from unfairly dominating the voting on these two proposals at the Final Action Hearings. The voting on these code changes clearly violated the principle of “balance of interest” specified in OMB Circular A-119 for a voluntary consensus body (see Attachment A.)
  • ICC maintains that its code development process is fair and open – a cornerstone of any consensus process. However, it is NAHB’s opinion that ICC’s governmental consensus process was manipulated and subverted to advance the interests of a single stakeholder. This belief is shared by many other industry groups, as well as numerous code official members of ICC, who have voiced their concerns to NAHB since the hearings in Minneapolis.
  • NAHB strongly believes ICC must take immediate and strong action to eliminate the growing influence of third-party funding to secure votes at the ICC Final Action Hearings.

Based on the submitted appeal the NAHB is requesting that the ICC Board of Directors:

  1. Set aside the results of the ICC Final Action on RB64 and RB66 and call for reconsideration during the 2009/2010 ICC Code Development Cycle.
  2. Take immediate action to eliminate the influence of third-party funding in the voting process.
  3. Undertake corrective action(s) to ensure that the ICC governmental consensus process is a fair and balanced process by restoring the principle of balance of interest in the selection of Governmental Member Voting Representatives.

We encourage you to provide your views, comments, and information to the ICC.  The NAHB has utilized its power to influence the code development for many years.  This was extremely clear by the actions taken by the members on the IRC committee who served during the Palm Springs code development process.  These representatives of the NAHB undermined the committee process and demonstrated clearly that the views of the NAHB are not based on safety and intended to confuse other committee members while moving an agenda of a single stakeholder.

Inspectors, code officials, fire marshals, plan reviews, and similar interests must make sure that the process of the ICC remains in the hands of the governmental members.  We encourage you to file your written statement to the ICC.  Per the ICC notice, the appeals board is taking written views on the request for appeal.  The written requests should be filed with Mr. Michael Pfeiffer (ICC Deputy Senior Vice President, Technical Affairs), in accordance with the proper procedures for appears for the ICC.

ICC Notice of Appeal, November 11, 2008

NAHB October 30, 2008 Appeal Request

RB64 and RB 68 as Approved by the Governmental Membership

Review the testimony of RB 64

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Tim Rogers November 12, 2008, 10:08 am

    This looks like sour grapes on the part of the NAHB. They’ve been fighting this initiative for years. It’s clear that there interest is building cheap homes, selling them for as big a profit as possible and not worry about the home buyers’ safety down the road. Wake up NAHB! Even you get repeat customers and you might even get a few more if they don’t die in residential fires.

    Tim Rogers
    Fire Inspector/Investigator
    Baytown, TX

  • Joe Fleming November 12, 2008, 1:03 pm

    I have read the appeal now trotted out by the special interest group known as the National Home Builders Association (NHBA).

    I find it both amusing and insulting that one special interest group is complaining that the vote was biased by another special interest group. It is like complaining that they feel someone has cheated better than they have cheated. The appeal should not be taken seriously. It reads like joke. If they had a majority of dinosaurs present to vote it down then everything would have been ok? Nothing was stopping them from attending the hearing and voting if they felt so strongly about sprinklers.

    I sat through some hearings on Saturday dealing with gravel flying off roofs during high wind conditions. The hearing was sparsely attended. Not too many of the home builders around to through in their two cents. I guess that means that the home builders are single issue special interest voters who were just there to vote on issues that are important to them. Oh wait, when you come right down to it, that’s what everyone does, only when the firefighters do it (and did it well) that constitutes a problem.

    One last point, they complain: “They were primarily fire fighters of a single mind and interest – fire safety, including their own protection when fighting residential fires.” I cannot believe that a group would speak up to try and make their working conditions safer and have fewer members die each year. This is atrocious behavior! Good Point NHBA! The sprinklers do offer superior protection for the occupants and rescuers, I agree.

    Joe Fleming
    Assistant Fire Chief
    Broadview Heights Fire Department

  • Terri Leyton November 12, 2008, 1:11 pm

    The bottom line is fewer people will die in home fires where residential fire sprinklers are installed. Children and the elderly who couldn’t otherwise get out if their house was on fire. The Building Officials, Fire Officials and Industry who helped pass RB-64 are Heroes in my book.
    Shame on the NAHB for acting like spoiled children who were beat at their own game.
    Fire Sprinklers Save Lives, Property and Firefighters!

  • Dennis Browning November 12, 2008, 1:38 pm

    What is the cost of a single human life? When considering this, make sure that life is your Daughter or Son or maybe yourself. This whole issue is about saving lives not saving money. The increase in cost on a house under construction is about the same as Granite Kitchen counter tops. Many times it is less. I also want to keep costs down but not at the cost of human suffering.

  • Joseph Heimsch November 12, 2008, 3:07 pm

    There was hours of testomony both pro and con, and it appeared that proper proceedures were always followed. NAHB is just upset that the vote was not in there favor. There should be no appeal!

  • Arsnman4 November 12, 2008, 9:17 pm

    Nailed it Tim! This effort is just smoke and mirrors to make their membership happy and look like they are doing something. The ICC and NAHB have been bedfellos for many many years!

  • admin November 19, 2008, 8:12 pm

    Hey it sounds like the meeting will be on December 11, 2008 in the Chicago area. I will get a release out when we hear something.

  • admin November 21, 2008, 3:40 pm

    Okay here is one more link, it shows sprinklers good, and the minn home builders crying foul!


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