Good News for Home Builders

Back in January 2010, I noted the unwise decision by the Department of Labor & Industry to implement new building codes based on recommendations by the International Code Commission (ICC). The most costly and controversial was the requirement that sprinklers be included in every new home built, adding $6,000 to the cost of homes.

Good news for future home builders, HB 377 (subscription required), which repeals the sprinkler mandate and requires a two-thirds majority vote before implementing future ICC recommendations, has been sent to the governor.

While the ICC is followed by 48 of the 50 states, virtually no states are implementing the 2009 recommendations because of the burdensome and unnecessary mandates—further, 20 states still comply with the ICC’s 2006 residential code. Other states such as Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas and South Dakota have decided that all or parts of the 2009 code are not in the best interests of the public and refused implantation.

Without HB 377, Pennsylvania would continue to automatically adopt new ICC building codes regardless of their economic impact or better alternatives.