The Alliance and National Center for
Healthy Housing submitted several proposals
to the ICC on June 1st for the 2009-2010 code change cycle (to improve
the 2012 version of the International Property Maintenance Code - IPMC).
here for a PDF of all proposals. The IPMC applies to all
structures but as a practical matter is the nation's model housing code
governing conditions in and around the structure that affect occupants.
Several states and nearly 600 localities across the country have adopted
the IPMC for housing. Other codes of interest are the International Building
Code (IBC), International Residential Code (IRC), and International Existing
Building Code (IEBC).
The Alliance and NCHH are pleased to anounce great success at the ICC
committee hearings on November 4th! The committee's decisions go for public
comment this spring and a final vote by code officials in Charlotte, NC
from 10/28 to 11/1/10. The committee accepted three proposals:
- Require use of the lead-safe work practices to
repair deteriorated paint on structures built before 1978. The LSWPs
are those in EPA's renovation, repair and painting rule. Paint is presumed
to be lead-based paint.
- Require carbon monoxide alarms in dwelling units
with combustion sources or an attached garage. There are exemptions
for homes with ventilated or open attached garages.
- Prohibit the use of portable unvented fuel-burning
space heaters to provide comfort heating.
Another committee accepted our proposal to adopt California's standards
for formaldehyde from composite wood products.
ICC committees gave serious consideration to other proposals but did
not approve them. However, NCHH and AFHH anticipates submitting public
comments to address committee concerns and pursue approval by the ICC
code officials next year. These proposals include:
- Requiring radon-resistant new construction in
high risk areas (counties designated Zone 1 and Zone 2).
- Requiring removal, replacement or remediation
of interior porous or water permeable surfaces that have visible mold.
- Defining "sanitary" so code inspectors
can more effectively apply the term that is used throughout the IPMC
and modifying the definition of “infestation.”
- Requiring use of licensed pest management professional
when the code official orders pest control.
- Establish clear provisions in the IPMC for standards
to address specific health issues.
In a related safety issue, the committee responsible for the International
Residential Code affirmed the ICC membership's decision to require sprinklers
in one- and two-family housing.
- Health and Safety Chapter: Prevent and eliminate
health hazards by requiring compliance with health standards in IPMC,
especially for toxics.
- Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms: Require alarms in
IEBC and IPMC consistent with IRC language adopted last cycle.
- Space Heaters: Prohibit in IPMC use of unvented,
portable fuel-burning space heaters as a primary source of heat, and
if used, require a CO alarm.
- Renovations: Modify IEBC to require compliance
with EPA’s RRP Rule in order to prevent lead hazards.
- Pre-1978 Structures: Modify IPMC to explicitly
prohibit deteriorated paint because it is a presumed hazard in pre-1978
buildings, and require lead-safe repair unless approved test proves
paint is not lead-based paint.
- Pest Control: Modify IPMC to require certified
professional to eliminate pests in response to a pest control order.
- Infestation: Expand IPMC definition to expressly
include bedbugs, cockroaches, and pest rodents, as well as visible pest
residues or debris unless there is clear evidence that the pest has
- Sanitary: Add definition to IPMC to specify that
this is a condition that is clean and free of pest infestations and
residues; human and animal waste; mold; wastewater; sewage; rotting
material; and uncontained rubbish or garbage.
- Formaldehyde and Wood Products: Update IBC and
IRC to incorporate latest versions of the relevant ANSI standards. These
ANSI standards incorporate the stringent California standards for formaldehyde
emissions from wood products.
- Radon: Modify the IRC to require Radon Resistant
New Constructionin accordance with the current Appendix F in the IRC
or ASTM standard 1465 (two proposals).
- Moldy Building Materials: Modify IEBC and IPMC
to require repair/removal/remediation of moldy permeable materials made
of or containing organic materials, such as but not limited to wood,
textiles, paint, cellulose insulation, and paper, including paper-faced
- Swimming Pool Fencing: Modify the IRC to require
four sides of fencing around pools.
- Water Temperature Limits: Modify IEBC to reflect
The organizations also support proposals from the American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers to require compliance
with ASHRAE’s 62.2 standard for ventilation of low-rise residential
buildings: whole-house mechanical ventilation; local ventilation from
kitchens and bathrooms; preventing migration of contaminants from an attached
garage; and exhaust of range hoods to the outside.
These proposals will receive a final vote (by government agency ICC
members only) at a hearing in Charlotte in the fall of 2010. The Alliance
encourages healthy homes advocates and code officials in all jurisdictions
to support these proposals at the ICC hearings. However, only government
staff can vote at the final hearing.
here for the Alliance and the National Center for Healthy Housing's proposals
to the International Code Council for the 2007-08 code change cycle.
For more information on the model code campaign, contact Jane Malone