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Summary of January 20, 2021 Member Meeting

posted Feb 18, 2021, 1:30 PM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: January 20, 2021

Location: Teleconference

The meeting was convened at 9:01 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

Meredith Hawes, North Central Regional Manager of the National Fire Protection Association, participated in the meeting as a guest and provided an update on NFPA current events and services.

Regarding DSPS plan review services, DuPont asked about recent experiences among ARC members. Jeff Beiriger said he was at a POWTS industry conference last week and heard few complaints about state level POWTS plan review timeliness. He said it seems that DSPS process improvements have been successful. Some contractors have expressed concern about no longer being able to choose their plan reviewer for specific projects, but on balance, they would rather have timely plan review as opposed to choosing their reviewer. Jeff also reported that legislation may soon be introduced to add two staff positions to the DSPS POWTS program.

Matt Mertens reported that DSPS is still utilizing local plan review programs to help DSPS manage state plan review workload for commercial buildings, including fire suppression systems. Brian Flannery reported that the DSPS continues to work through logistical issues related to commercial building plan reviews being conducted locally (for plans submitted to DSPS and then assigned to local plan review partners). He credited the DSPS with making a good effort to utilize all plan review resources available.

Marty King said the fire sprinkler industry met with DSPS leadership about one week ago. He said during 2020, DSPS plan review averaged a 12 week wait; but now the wait is down to about eight weeks. Marty said the sprinkler industry would like to see wait times of no more than three or four weeks. And, instead of changing the plan review triggers for sprinkler systems based on the number of sprinkler heads, the industry would rather see plan reviews be prioritized based on system complexity.

DuPont said he would resubmit the ARC recommendation to change the Commercial Building Code to simplify and reduce plan review participation fees paid by municipal plan review agents of the DSPS. Such changes are expected to result in more municipal agents for state level plan review.

Regarding adoption of the International Residential Code (IRC), DuPont reported that DSPS leadership wants to ask the Uniform Dwelling Code Council for advice before deciding whether to evaluate the IRC for possible adoption as the basis for the Wisconsin One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code.

Regarding the UDC Council meeting schedule and membership changes, DuPont reported that DSPS continues to appoint new members to the Uniform Dwelling Code Council, with an expectation to convene that council once the Plumbing Code Advisory Committee has completed its work on the State Plumbing Code update.

Regarding the idea for creating a uniform code for work on pre-1980 homes, DuPont reported that he has been in communications with the following entities concerning the idea for a statute change that would establish authority and direction for the DSPS to promulgate a statewide uniform code for additions and alterations to homes initially constructed before June, 1980, when the UDC went into effect.
  • Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
  • National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) – Madison and Fox Valley Chapters
  • Wisconsin Builders Association
  • American Institute of Architects – Wisconsin Society
  • Wisconsin Housing Alliance
DuPont said none of the entities expressed opposition to the idea. DSPS indicated they would like to ask the Uniform Dwelling Code Council for advice in this regard. The NARI chapters indicated interest in continued dialogue about the idea. Brad Boycks, of the WBA, suggested that ARC request a bill draft be created to facilitate further consideration by the WBA and other interested parties. AIA Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Housing Alliance indicated general support for reasonable uniform standards.

DuPont said he would ask his state legislators to request a bill draft if ARC members were in support of such action. No concerns were expressed by meeting attendees, so DuPont said he would next send a query to all ARC members because not all ARC Classic Members were participating in the meeting.

Regarding carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors, DuPont reported that DSPS has indicated they would likely ask the Commercial Building Code Council for advice about the idea to change state statutes concerning installations where forced-air furnaces serve multiple living or sleeping units.

Regarding eliminating fire sprinkler standby fees, DuPont asked for volunteers to serve on a workgroup to develop specific recommendations for consideration by all ARC members. Marty King, Jeff Beiriger and Matt Mertens volunteered.

Regarding promoting smoke alarms in each bedroom, DuPont asked for volunteers to serve on a workgroup to develop specific recommendations for consideration by all ARC members. Joel Meier and Brian Flannery volunteered. DuPont said he would check in with Ed Ruckriegel about serving on this workgroup, since Ed had suggested this effort and the City of Madison already has an ordinance which requires smoke alarms in all bedrooms. Joe Hertel said he believes the City of Wausau may also have an ordinance that requires smoke alarms in all bedrooms of multifamily dwellings. DuPont said he would research Wausau ordinances concerning smoke alarms.

DuPont also said he would check with the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association and the Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association to see if they would identify volunteers to serve on these two workgroups.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was set for April 28, 2021, as a teleconference.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:20 a.m.


Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Brian Flannery

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Corey Gall

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Dan Callies

National Association of the Remodeling Industry, Milwaukee Chapter

Jeff Beiriger

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Wisconsin Association

Jim Smith

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Joe Hertel

Wisconsin Electrical Trades Council

Joel Meier

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Jonathan Kowalski

Plumbing Mechanical Sheet Metal Contractors Alliance

Marty King

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Matt Mertens

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Meredith Hawes

National Fire Protection Association

Richard Paur

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Tim Schmitz

International Code Council

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC

This summary was prepared by Bob DuPont, Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

It was issued on February 18, 2021.