NYC Mayor Bloomberg Accepts Recommendation By Mayoral Commission To Adopt International Building Code

New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster has announced that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has accepted the recommendation of the Mayoral Commission to Study the Feasibility of Adopting a Model Code. After four months of deliberations, the Commission recommended the adoption of the International Code Commission's International Building Code, or IBC. The Commission featured an array of members from the public and private sectors, and had examined the benefits of both the IBC and the National Fire Protection Association's NFPA 5000.

"I would like to applaud the Commission for the thoroughness with which they undertook this critical task," said Commissioner Lancaster. "As it stands now, our Building Code is the most stringent set of construction regulations in the nation, yet its complexity is seen by many as an impediment to progress. The IBC will allow us to streamline the construction process while not sacrificing the effectiveness of these regulations in keeping our City a safe place to live, work and build."

The Commission extensively examined both the IBC and the NFPA 5000 for their formats and also for their ease of adaptability to the provisions of the City's needs. As stated in the Commission's final report, "The premise is that the intent and high standards of the existing code should be preserved either by integrated language change or by separate amendments, while a new format is adopted." The Commission also held a public forum in February 2003, giving weight to input from the public at large during their deliberations.

In its 42-page final report (not including appendices), the Commission outlined its criteria for selecting the IBC over the NFPA 5000 and the existing code. Among those code criteria were comprehensiveness, ease of understanding, flexibility of upgrading, ease of adaptability to the unique requirements of New York City, as well as the training provided under each code. In every category of measurement, the IBC received higher margins of preference over the NFPA 5000.

Mayor Bloomberg first announced the Commission's formation in November 2002. Among its members were representatives from the Department of Buildings, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the City Council's Housing and Buildings Committee, the International Code Council, the National Fire Protection Association, the Building Construction and Trades Council, the American Institute of Architects, the New York Association of Consulting Engineers, the Real Estate Board of New York, and the Association for a Better New York.

The Commission was formed by Executive Order of the Office of the Mayor, in cooperation with the City Council's Housing and Buildings Committee. The Commission's final report will be available at www.NYC.gov/buildings. Bound copies will be available for purchase for $15.00 from the CityStore at www.NYC.gov/citystore.

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