III. S. 579 -S. C. Building Codes Reform
Senator Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee/Pickens).

Sponsor: Senator Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee/ Pickens) Co-Sponsors: Senators Corbin, Gambrell, Climer, Campbell, Cromer, Hembree and Timmons. PREPARING FOR FULL COMMITTEE HEARING Positioned to advance in 2018

The HBASC has worked with a number of groups to create the South Carolina Building Codes bill. This state-specific code would allow for a more efficient and effective code adoption process. The new code would be tailored to the safety and affordability of homeowners in South Carolina. A S. C. Building Codes would save homeowners thousands of dollars from unnecessary and frequent changes and allow for improved efficiency for builders, tradesmen, code officials and inspectors.

The Bill Provides:

• A S. C. Building Code for all construction that will be based on the geographic and weather conditions of our state;

• Promote a single code to allow for better enforcement and quality of construction for the citizens of S. C. The 2015 S. C. Building Codes Manual in use today that is published by the ICC will be the base code;

• The bill would modify the way codes are adopted. Instead of only a 17 member council with little to no experience in construction process/standards it will instead use “Technical Review Committees” for both commercial and residential construction. These committees will be made up of experienced professionals from construction, safety and code enforcement fields who have had experience in their field for at least 10 years;

• Allows S. C. to match a 6 year residential code cycle that many states have already turned to instead of the current 3 year cycle for residential, but maintain a 3 year code cycle for commercial;

• Greater flexibility to update those codes within the cycle. Any modification, after promulgation, would then reflect the year it was adopted (i. e. Modifications in 2019 would then represent the 2019 S. C. Building Codes, which would keep SC ahead of every state in the adoption process);

• Allows for flexibility for research concerning strength of materials, safe design and other factors that our public and private colleges/ universities can and will provide (i. e. the wind and seismic maps produced by Clemson University and the Citadel) and;

• The S. C. Building Code would require that any modification to the building code also include a preliminary fiscal impact statement reflecting estimates of costs to be incurred by the public and state agencies in complying with the proposed modifications.

The S. C. Building Codes bill would allow S. C. to join a national movement to a six year flex code adoption cycle from the current three year cycle.