ICC, MBI Release Offsite Construction Standards
At the beginning of the month, the International Code Council and the Modular Building Institute published two new comprehensive standards slated to accelerate the offsite construction industry.
“The Code Council family already offers multiple solutions to support the safe and efficient use of offsite construction. However, as we continue seeing a surge in global demand for offsite construction, we knew more guidance would be necessary, to add consistency to a global market,” said Dominic Sims, CBO, Chief Executive Officer, International Code Council.
“The new standards align perfectly with the Code Council’s mission to ensure building safety. The standards are also part of our commitment to encourage affordability, in this case by lowering the regulatory barriers to trade, that offsite products often face by having to navigate a patchwork of regional regulations.”
Offsite Construction Standards
According to the associations, the ICC/MBI 1200-2021 Standard for Offsite Construction: Planning, Design, Fabrication and Assembly and ICC/MBI 1205-2021 Standard for Offsite Construction: Inspection and Regulatory Compliance are intended to promote consistency around the globe of regulatory requirements for offsite construction processes.
The new standards arrive as the building issue continues to face challenges such as workforce availability, housing affordability, job site safety, building quality and sustainability. In wake of these challenges, the industry has witnessed an uptick in the offsite construction approach, often referred to as modular or prefabrication, to mitigate the issues.
The new American National Standards were developed by the Offsite and Modular Construction Standard Consensus Committee (IS-OSMC) under the Code Council’s ANSI Approved Consensus Procedures.
“The Modular Building Institute is proud to announce the completion of Standards 1200 and 1205, in partnership with the Code Council, to support the modular building sector,” said Tom Hardiman, CAE, Executive Director, Modular Building Institute. “The standards are a significant step in providing consistency and helping to further unlock the benefits provided by offsite construction. We look forward to working with the Code Council on the adoption of these standards.”
In looking at the standards individually, the ICC/MBI Standard 1200-2021 was developed to address important facets of the offsite construction process including planning, designing, fabricating, transporting and assembling commercial and residential building elements. The new standard includes componentized, panelized and modularized elements.
The ICC/MBI Standard 1205-2021 was created to address the inspection, approval and regulatory compliance of offsite residential and commercial construction components, as well as their assembly and completion at the final building site. ICC reports that the new standard also includes permitting, in-plant and onsite final inspections, third-party inspections, the role of Industrialized Building Departments, state modular programs and the authority having jurisdiction.
Neither standard applies to the HUD Manufactured Housing, however.
Moving forward, the Code Council and MBI report that they will be continuing their partnership on the future development of additional offsite construction standards including Standard 1210, which will address requirements for mechanical, electrical and plumbing system elements, energy efficiency and water conservation in offsite construction projects.
An educational course on the two standards is in development and is slated to be available by the end of the year.
The new standards are available for purchase in digital and print versions on the Code Council website.
Other ICC News
Earlier this year, the ICC launched two online building code tools that aim to give access to free information about building code usage to safety professionals and the public.
The tools—one national, one global—aim to help protect communities, according to ICC.
ICC partnered with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes and the Insurance Services Office to create the U.S. Code Adoption Database, which is an interactive map that shares code information at the state and local levels. The database also contains a color-coded map for each of the 15 International Codes.
In addition, the ICC has launched the Global Building Codes Tool, which provides information about the codes and standards around the world, also via an interactive map. Here, users can view information about respective building safety regulation agencies in addition to the codes themselves.
The latter tool was primarily designed to help manufacturers and designers who are interested in exporting their products to different countries and also represents “a key component of the Code Council’s Strategic Partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration,” according to the Council.
More recently, the ICC announced this month that it had partnered with the Pakistan Engineering Council to develop the Building Code of Pakistan (BCP 2021). The building code is reported to provide resources to help establish the production of standardized construction materials for a more sustainable economy in the country.
The Building Code of Pakistan was based on the 2021 International Building Code and provides minimum benchmarks for the structural safety of building design, construction, operation, practices, and installation of allied building systems in Pakistan.
“We are pleased to continue our long-standing global partnership with the Pakistan Engineering Council,” said Mark Johnson, Executive Vice President and Director of Business Development, ICC. “The BCP 2021 contains significant advancements in building safety and is a landmark achievement that reflects Pakistan’s commitment in furthering the advancement of building safety in the country.”
A ceremony celebrating the launch of BCP 2021 is expected to take place sometime in December. In addition, the Pakistan Engineering Council is planning to organize professional training courses on design, practice, application and implementation of BCP-2021 for capacity building of Authorities Having Jurisdictions for effective implementation of the Code in Pakistan.