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Summary of July 28, 2020 Member Meeting

posted Aug 31, 2020, 12:02 PM by Robert DuPont   [ updated Aug 31, 2020, 12:31 PM ]

Alliance for Regulatory Coordination

Summary of Member Meeting

Meeting Date: July 28, 2020

Location: Teleconference

The meeting was convened at 9:03 a.m. by Bob DuPont, of Regulatory Guidance and Design, LLC.

Regarding progress on ARC priorities during the past year,
DuPont reviewed the document entitled “July 2020 Status Report on ARC Member Priorities”, which had been sent previously to ARC members. Highlights of that review, and ARC member discussion, are as follows:

On Item 1.a., concerning reconvening of the Commercial Building Code Council (CBCC), DuPont reported that Dan Hereth, DSPS Assistant Deputy Secretary, had recently informed him that the DSPS is working towards establishing the next meeting of this council, with rule development related to 2017 Wisconsin Acts 198 and 330, expected to be on the meeting agenda. Richard Paur reported that Dan Hereth had been in contact with him concerning scheduling of the next CBCC meeting. Richard also said that he will be retiring from the City of Milwaukee in mid-August, and that due to his retirement, he may not be able to continue as a Council member.

On Item 1.b., concerning reconvening of the Dwelling Code Council, DuPont reported that Mr. Hereth indicated that DSPS has no timetable set, but they expect the council to meet yet this year.

On Item 1.c.,
concerning reconvening of the Fire Prevention Code Council, DuPont reported that Mr. Hereth indicated that the DSPS has not set a timetable for updating Chapter SPS 314, the Wisconsin Fire Prevention Code.

On Item 3.b.,
concerning elimination or simplification of plan review participation fees charged to 2nd class cities and agent municipalities, DuPont said the topic could be included in legislation that might be introduced concerning state level plan review policies and procedures.

On Item 3.d., concerning establishing a statewide uniform code for homes initially constructed before the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code went into effect, DuPont reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed dialogue with the home construction and remodeling industry associations. He said he hopes to get that discussion moving again as soon as possible.

On Item 4.,
concerning remedial legislation on carbon monoxide detectors related to forced-air furnaces serving more than one unit in residential commercial buildings, DuPont suggested a possible next step could be determining actual design practices seen on plans and in the field, to see what the gap is between actual practice and the policy that the Alliance desires. Richard Paur said he sees new installations in Milwaukee being designed and installed in accordance with national standards. Matt Mertens said hotels that are part of national chains have benchmarks that meet national standards for carbon monoxide detection, not the lower standards found in Wisconsin Statutes.

On Item 5.a., concerning reviewing the 2015, 2018 and 2021 editions of NFPA 1, and the 2018 and 2021 editions of ICC codes to update the State Fire Prevention Code and the State Commercial Building Code, DuPont reported that Mr. Hereth indicated it is the DSPS preference to begin updating the commercial building code this year.

On Item 5.b., concerning reviewing the State Uniform Plumbing Code, DuPont reported that Mr. Hereth indicated DSPS anticipates beginning this code update again this year, with it being the next code project they undertake.

On Item 5.f., concerning establishing requirements in the Wisconsin Uniform Dwelling Code for mandatory inspections of certain additions and alterations, DuPont suggested consideration of how this matter relates to other UDC-related ARC priorities – should it be on a separate track or be combined with other UDC initiatives? There was no discussion on the matter.

On Item 5.g., concerning adopting the International Residential Code as the base code for the Wisconsin UDC, DuPont reported that the plumbing code coordination work group met and concurred to recommend that the ARC encourage the DSPS to maintain the state-generated Plumbing Code. He also reported that the fire safety work group met once and will meet again in August to develop recommendations to ARC regarding sprinklers and fire protection for wood floor assemblies.

On Item 7, concerning statewide inspection of commercial building construction, DuPont noted that implementation of statewide inspection of electrical construction in commercial buildings has been difficult for the DSPS, with originally contracted third-party inspection agencies dropping out of the program. That difficulty, along with current legislative leaders not being keen on more code enforcement, results in an environment not compatible with this initiative.

Regarding ARC priorities for the next 12 months, DuPont reviewed the draft ARC priorities for the next 12 months, which had been sent previously to ARC members. Highlights of that review, and ARC member discussion, are as follows:

On Item 2), concerning improved deployment of DSPS resources among programs and services for safety and buildings, DuPont said increasing DSPS staffing could be included in the next Budget Bill.

On Item 3) c), concerning legislation to establish a statewide uniform code for one- and two-family homes originally constructed before the UDC went into effect, DuPont said his is hoping to soon begin working with the two additional NARI chapters (Fox Valley and Madison), as well as with the Wisconsin Builders Association, and additional building inspector associations, as soon as their focus is able to shift from the COVID-19 pandemic. He reminded that he has already drafted potential statute change text and a white paper on this topic.

On Item 6), concerning legislation to update statutes on smoke detectors, DuPont reported that he and Ed Ruckriegel are planning on meeting to finalize recommendations to all ARC members. He said that COVID-19 slowed this down due to Ed being focused on reacting to the pandemic for several months. DuPont suggested consideration be given to coordinating this legislative initiative with the one about carbon monoxide detection. There was no discussion on the matter.

DuPont next asked if there were any suggestions for additional priorities. Ed Ruckriegel suggested that the Alliance consider supporting a Wisconsin transition from adoption of NFPA 1, to adoption of the International Fire Code as the basis of Chapter SPS 314, the Wisconsin Fire Prevention Code. After a brief discussion, DuPont said he would put the topic on the agenda of the next ARC Fire Safety Team meeting. He reinforced that the ARC would only move forward with such an initiative if there was no opposition from Classic ARC members, and Wisconsin fire service organizations.

Jeff Beiriger suggested that the Alliance consider advocating for the DSPS to improve coordination of code development among various code committees and councils. He cited problems caused by the lack of such coordination during the last update of the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code relative to energy conservation and plumbing hot water circulation systems.

Beiriger also suggested that the Alliance consider advocating for the DSPS to improve delivery of state-level plan review services, through improved communications, processes and staffing. After a brief discussion of Jeff’s suggestions there was no expressed opposition to modifying the draft ARC priorities as Jeff suggested. DuPont said he would modify the draft ARC priorities and send the new draft to all ARC members along with the summary of the meeting.

Matt Mertens reminded that he and Ed Ruckriegel had mentioned specific topics where technology continues to evolve – with newer editions of national model codes and standards better addressing those evolved technologies. Matt suggested adding emphasis in this regard to future advocacy efforts of the Alliance. DuPont asked Matt to send him more information so that such details can be better communicated to DSPS leadership in the future.

The next meeting of Alliance Members was tentatively set for some time during the weeks of October 19 and 26, 2020, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held as a teleconference.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:18 a.m.


Meeting Attendees

Organization Represented

A J Wilson

IBEW WI State Conference, Plumbers Local 75 and SMART Local 18

Brad Neumeister

Southwestern Wisconsin Building Inspectors Association

Dan Callies

NARI Milwaukee

Dean Warsh

IBEW Wisconsin State Conference

Jeff Beiriger

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, Wisconsin Association

Ed Ruckriegel

Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin

Jim Smith

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

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

Richard Paur

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Scott Satula

Wisconsin Code Officials Alliance

Steve Breitlow

Plumbers Local 75

Steve Freese

Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association

Steve Froemming

International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Wisconsin Chapter

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 August 31, 2020.