Awards honor those committed to safer building

The International Code Council Foundation annual Silent Defender Awards, presented during Building Safety Week, recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding achievements in the building of stronger, safer communities. The recipients of the 2007 Silent Defender Awards are Louisiana State Senator Ken Hollis and State Representative Gillis Pinac, the city of Las Vegas Department of Building and Safety, and Architects Without Borders.

“I extend my congratulations to all of this year’s Silent Defender Award recipients,” said International Code Council CEO Rick Weiland. “Through their daily work they encourage stronger and safer communities, without seeking recognition. But they deserve recognition for the quiet work they do to make sure the places we live, work and play in are safe.”

Senator Hollis and Representative Pinac championed the effort to rebuild stronger and safer in Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. They co-authored legislation to adopt and enforce the International Codes in the state. Senator Hollis’ and Representative Pinac’s leadership has been crucial to the implementation of responsible rebuilding projects throughout the Pelican State—projects that are using proven construction processes, materials and technology to help protect communities during disasters.

In April 2006, the city of Las Vegas Department of Building and Safety became the first building department to earn an International Accreditation Service (IAS) Building Department Certificate of Accreditation. By earning accreditation, Las Vegas sets new standards in safety, service and quality, and a new level of professionalism for building departments across the country to aspire to achieve. During the accreditation process, the city of Las Vegas demonstrated to IAS building department evaluators that they effectively manage the entire building process.

Architects Without Borders is an international not-for-profit humanitarian relief coalition whose thousands of volunteers are dedicated to promoting safe and life-fulfilling environments that are sustainable and socially and environmentally responsible. The organization engages the community in its own reconstruction program to help the area build self-reliance and long-range viability that addresses the area’s social, economic and cultural needs. For more than 15 years, Architects Without Borders has worked with organizations around the world to coordinate disaster relief and reconstruction. Its thousands of volunteers include architects, planners, engineers, designers, builders, instructors and students.

The International Code Council Foundation (ICCF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating the devastating effects of natural disasters and other building tragedies by promoting ideas, methods and technologies that encourage the construction of durable, sustainable buildings and homes. The ICCF is a subsidiary of the International Code Council, Inc., an organization that develops the most widely adopted building codes in the nation. Building Safety Week is an opportunity to increase public awareness of the role building safety and fire prevention officials, local and state building departments, and federal agencies play to protect the nation’s residents.

Photos of the award winners are available at

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