On Oct. 25, 2023, the Houston City Council voted to adopt the latest International Code Council’s (ICC) 2021 International Codes (I-Codes).
In mid-2022, the City of Houston launched the Construction Code Modernization Project to help improve the safety and resiliency of buildings within the community. Recommendations from four task groups and a coordinating committee were presented to the Houston City Council. The vote to adopt the I-Codes is just one of the many outcomes of the project, involving more than 200 community stakeholders representing more than 50 construction and industry associations. Code Council Director of PMG Technical Resources Richard Anderson served as co-chair of the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Codes Task Force Group. Senior Regional Manager of Government Relations Mark Roberts served on the Construction Code Modernization Committee, which reviewed the decisions and recommendations made by each Task Force Group.
The International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, International Fire Code, International Residential Code, International Swimming Pool and Spa Code and International Energy Conservation Code will become effective on Jan. 2, 2024.
The updated I-Codes include requirements for energy storage systems to help facilitate their implementation and improved construction methods for tiny homes, 3-D printing and the use of intermodal shipping containers as buildings. The I-Codes also introduce mass timber buildings, a new construction methodology, to the city and added provisions for construction and fire safety.
“Ensuring the safety and sustainability of buildings and communities is always our number one priority,” Code Council Senior Vice President of Government Relations and National Strategy Gabe Maser said. “This update is a crucial step forward in safeguarding Houston’s residents, demonstrating a proactive approach to resilience, and advancing safety and sustainability throughout the city.”
“The Houston Permitting Center plays a vital role in maintaining the building code standards across the City of Houston. We value our partnership with the mayor, city council members and community stakeholders as we worked together to update the New Construction Codes,” City of Houston Building Official Byron King, CBO said. “These changes will help build a resilient city by doing more to protect the community from fires, flooding, strong winds, and extreme heat and cold as it relates to building safety.”
More information on the 2021 I-Codes can be found here.