For the first time, Virginia will host the annual International Code Council (ICC) Conference Oct. 21-29 in Richmond. With more than 64,000 members from the public and private sectors, ICC is dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design and construction of buildings – the codes and standards that we rely upon to ensure we are building sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. This event draws attendees from throughout the world and features expert speakers, education sessions, networking opportunities and the free Building Safety and Design Expo. This event also marks the commencement of an important process: the development of the 2021 International Codes (I-Codes). The I-Codes are a complete set of comprehensive building safety and fire prevention codes that provide minimum safeguards for individuals and families in the structures where they work, live and play, and they lay the foundation for Virginia’s code development process.

Plan to attend the Building Safety and Design Expo on Monday, Oct. 22. The free event will feature vendors from across the world showcasing the latest building products, technology and services, and free training sessions will be taking place on the expo floor. Sessions will include building safety, design, construction and administration. To register for the expo, visit BSDExpo.org.

Top hoarding expert Matt Paxton from the hit television show “Hoarders” will share his expertise on hoarding, a topic that is inextricably linked to building, fire prevention and the codes. Attendees will also hear from industry leaders from ASTM International, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the World Bank.

Throughout the conference, numerous education sessions will provide an opportunity to earn continuing education credits. Topics covered this year include disaster planning, best practices from building departments, fire and life safety, and trends in building inspection technology. New this year the conference will feature a plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas education track with sessions about significant changes to the I-Codes and the residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning design process.

Immediately following the conference sessions and expo, the 2018 Group A Public Comment Hearings will begin at noon on Oct. 24. The hearings provide an opportunity for attendees to participate in the development of the 2021 I-Codes, the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in the world. At the hearings, governmental member voting representatives will vote on hundreds of proposed code changes on behalf of their respective jurisdictions. This is an opportunity for the private and public sectors from throughout the world to come together to develop the codes that directly impact the health, safety and welfare of our residents, as well as our efforts to spur economic development. The code hearings are open to the public and provide public comment on the proposed code changes, which many times guides future state building and fire code regulations.

For more information about the conference and to register, visit iccsafe.org/conference. To view a complete schedule of the public comment hearings, visit https://cdn-web.iccsafe.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-PCH-Schedule.pdf. Use the hashtag #ICCAC18 to follow the online conversation.

Cindy Davis can be reached at cindy.davis@dhcd.virginia.gov.

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