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Apartment Industry Sees Early Successes on 2021 National Model Building Codes

2021 National Model Building Codes

NAA/NMHC recently completed work on the first phase of the 2021 national model building code (I-Code) development cycle – the Code Development Hearings. The International Code Council (ICC) publishes more than a dozen versions of I-Codes and began work on the next code editions earlier this year. On behalf of the multifamily industry, we actively participate in the code development process, as I-Codes are the most widely-used family of codes and standards and often serve as the basis for state and local codes nationwide.

Ahead of the recent hearings, NAA/NMHC identified nearly 300 proposals of interest to the multifamily industry with a significant focus on measures related to fire safety, building egress, mechanical systems and accessibility. During the hearings, our team advocated for specific proposals of importance to the multifamily industry and opposed changes that could undermine the affordability and availability of housing. A number of onerous and costly proposals were rejected, including: a series of items attacking wood-framed construction, unnecessary increases in fire protection and testing requirements, mechanical ventilation requirements and changes to accessibility provisions. However, several industry-opposed proposals advanced through this round of hearings. These measures would limit use of certain sprinkler systems and impose new fire safety requirements.

NAA/NMHC are now preparing for the next hearings later this summer.