2013: The Year Ahead for Building Codes in Georgia

Georgia State Codes Advisory CommitteeGeorgia adopts building codes and their amendments on a state-wide basis. The State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC) is responsible for reviewing and amending the building codes of Georgia. This month, the SCAC voted to review four building codes in 2013. It’s going to be a busy year!

The International Code Council publishes model building codes every three years. Georgia is currently using the 2006 version of the building codes. The SCAC has been working to move Georgia from the 2006 versions of the ICC building codes to the 2012 versions of the ICC building codes. The SCAC approved changes to the International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Building Code (IBC) last year.

This year, the SCAC is working to review the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC), the International Plumbing Code (IPC), the International Mechanical Code (IMC), and the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC).  A task force has been assigned to each building code. Their charge is to review the code and determine if any amendments are necessary to address conditions specific to Georgia.

All of the task force meetings are open to the public. The kick-off dates for meetings to be held at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs offices in Atlanta are as follows:

IFGC kick-off on Thursday, February 7th.

IPC kick-off on Thursday, February 14th.

IMC kick-off on Tuesday, February 19th.

ISPSC kick-off on Tuesday, May 21st.

You can find the building codes that will be reviewed on the ICC website. They’re available for purchase in the ICC store. It’s very helpful to have a copy of the building code if you’re going to attend a task force meeting because the group reviews the text of the code and discusses the spirit, language, references and other materials in the code.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs posts the adopted amendments to the building codes on its website – there’s a page dedicated to the Construction Codes Department. You can find a list of Georgia’s building codes and free PDFs of the amendments on that page.

All of the building codes reviewed in 2012 and 2013 (and their amendments) are scheduled to take effect on January 1st, 2014. That means all of Georgia’s mandatory building codes will be updated.

In addition to the four task force groups reviewing the building codes mentioned above, the DCA has also created a task force to review carbon monoxide detectors (CMD) in schools. You may recall a recent carbon monoxide leak in an Atlanta school that prompted a review. The CMD task force kick off meeting will be on Tuesday, February 29th.

Each of the task force groups has a DCA staff member from the Construction Codes Department assigned to it. Each task force maintains a list of interested parties. Information, including meeting details, is distributed to the interested parties by email. Signing-up is free. Just contact the DCA or send us a note and we’ll help connect you with the appropriate DCA staff member.

The next SCAC meeting will be on Thursday April 11th at 10am in the offices of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in Atlanta. SCAC meetings are also open to the public so you’re welcome to attend. Please be sure to get there early as parking is always a challenge!

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