News‎ > ‎

Summary of July 19, 2013 Member Meeting

posted Aug 20, 2013, 9:07 AM by Robert DuPont

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: July 19, 2013

Location: Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin

The meeting was convened at 9:00 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC. Attendees introduced themselves and identified the organization they were representing.

DuPont provided a brief update concerning two code development projects of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS). On June 29th there is a department public hearing on proposed rules that are intended to make it easier for municipalities to become agents for plumbing plan review. And the DSPS recently withdrew from legislative review the proposed rules concerning electrical inspections.

Regarding the possible merger of the Department of Safety and Professional Services and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, DuPont said the State Budget Act requires the Department of Administration to complete a study of such a merger by January 1, 2014. If the DOA recommends the merger, the DOA must also develop a plan for such a merger with an effective date of July 2015.

DuPont asked attendees if they had concerns or recommendations concerning such a merger. Some members expressed the following concerns:
  • Things would probably get worse if building-related programs became part of a larger state agency, because it may be more difficult to gain access to upper management and because building-related programs could get lost among other priorities of a larger agency.
  • Funding scenarios are an area of concern since it is unknown how such a merged agency would be funded, with possible co-mingling of fee revenues being a concern
  • The DSPS Secretary has been very focused on saving money and it is unclear how a merger might affect that mindset.
After brief discussion there was general consensus that DuPont should pursue a meeting with DOA Executive Assistant Wendy Coomer, on behalf of the Alliance, to let her know of ARC member interest in the matter and to find out how and when ARC could have input into the DOA merger study. It was stressed that ARC members are concerned about the efficiency and effectiveness of programs that affect their various industries and memberships.

Attention next turned to consideration of the International Residential Code. Scott Satula reviewed several hand-out documents he had provided to attendees:
  • Benefits of Transitioning to the International Code Council’s (ICC) International Residential Code (IRC) for Wisconsin
  • Table of Contents from the 2012 IRC
  • Task Force Committee 2009 UDC/IRC Comparison (Final Report 3/23/10)
  • Letter from the Wisconsin Builders Association to Department of Commerce Secretary Aaron Olver, regarding the position of the WBA in using the IRC as Wisconsin’s base building code for one- and two-family dwellings, dated November 1, 2010.
Scott explained that several years ago the Building Inspectors Association of South East Wisconsin worked with the Metropolitan Builders Association (from the Milwaukee area) and the Wisconsin Builders Association, to review and compare the state Uniform Dwelling Code and the IRC. The goal was for everyone involved to become more informed about how the two codes compared and to see if there could be agreement to transition to use of the IRC in Wisconsin.

Scott said that from the beginning, there was agreement to continue to use the state electrical code and state plumbing code in Wisconsin. He also said that the topic of fire sprinklers was place on the table – to be dealt with after the rest of the UDC/IRC comparison and consideration was completed. Scott said ultimately the two builders associations decided against use of the IRC in Wisconsin, with loss of control over the code change process being a major concern.

Bob Neale, Ed Ruckriegel and Scott Satula described the process used by the ICC in its development of national model codes such as the IRC. They said that national experts from across the country are involved in the process; with experts from industry heavily involved throughout the entire process. They all stressed that interpretation and application of the IRC is left to the adopting regulatory authority.

Scott said that adoption of the IRC reflects the high level ARC commitment to encourage use of contemporary codes in Wisconsin.

It was reported that a municipality recently had their score lowered from the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) program because the municipality does not enforce the IRC. DuPont asked if there was interest among Alliance members for a presentation from the ISO regarding their BCEGS program. There was general agreement that such a presentation would be helpful and should be pursued. Misha Lee said he would contact ISO and ask them to get in touch with DuPont to discuss the possibility of an ISO representative making a presentation at the next ARC member meeting.

Next, Jeff Beiriger addressed the idea to create more statutory code councils and a standard update cycle. Jeff said the Plumbing Advisory Code Council has been dormant for several years. He encouraged ARC members to support creation of statutory code councils and a statutorily required three year code review cycle. Code councils suggested for statutory creation were:
  • Commercial Building Code Council
  • Electrical Code Council
  • Energy Conservation Code Council
  • Fire Prevention Code Council
  • Fuel Gas Code Council
  • Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Code Council
  • Plumbing Code Council
  • Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (POWTS) Code Council
After considerable discussion there was general agreement that one of the primary advantages of code councils is that industry consensus is reached through the efforts of such councils, and consequently, the makeup of code councils is of utmost importance. DuPont suggested members consider the Due Process Requirements of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which addresses creation of balanced councils.

It was decided that DuPont should work with Alliance members on possible code council makeup. Those ARC members most involved in the topic of each council would be most involved in developing the recommended council makeup to the full Alliance membership.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was tentatively scheduled for October 18, 2013, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., with hopes that the next member meeting will include a presentation by the ISO regarding their BCEGS program.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

Annie Reinhard

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Bill Babcock

American Institute of Architects, Wisconsin Society

Bob Neale

International Code Council

Dan Gengler

Wisconsin Alliance for Fire Safety

Dave Bloom

Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association

Ed Ruckriegel

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Jeff Bateman

Wisconsin Fire Protection Coalition

Jeff Beiriger

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors of Wisconsin

Joe Jameson

International Association of Electrical Inspectors, WI Chapter

John Mielke

Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

Loyal O’Leary

National Electrical Contractors Association, Wisconsin Chapter

Misha Lee

Wisconsin Insurance Alliance

Rachel Jaeb

National Electrical Contractors Association, Wisconsin Chapter

Scott Satula

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Tom Clark

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Tom Johnson

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Tom Wendt

Wisconsin State Fire Inspectors Association

Bob DuPont

Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC


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

It was issued on August 20, 2013.