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cdpACCESS Changing Code Development

Thursday, October 23, 2014  
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The code development process is evolving. Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) Program Associate Todd Sims writes about the evolution and the likely impact on future codes. The introduction of cdpACCESS, which allows all code officials to vote on the content of future codes from their office (or even their living room) is an opportunity to bring tens of thousands of code officials to the table and participate in a process where the end result affects every single person.

As Sims points out, "This is the biggest change in U.S. building codes since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911.”

The model codes have significant impacts on all segments of the building industry yet their content has often been decided by the hundred or so code officials who can afford to attend week-long hearings in person. These participants often came from larger cities that could afford the travel expense and redistribute workloads.

One unintended consequence of the old way of doing things is that code officials in small towns across the country began feeling the code didn’t belong to them; that the codes were being promulgated by the big cities of the east and west coasts.

Sims also sees a role for cdpACCESS beyond merely voting on code changes, including tackling the key issues revealed by the National Institute of Building Sciences in a demographic survey of code officials.

Read the blog and get involved in the development of future codes.

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