Keeping building codes

current with industry changes and consumer expectations is a continuous process.



Minnesota’s newsletter for the building industry
Minnesota has a new State Building Code
News Release (ST. PAUL) – Minnesota has a new State Building Code. Effective March 31, the 2003 code is the result of more than two years of work by six advisory committees convened by the Building Codes and Standards Division in the Department of Administration. The committees include representatives from local governments, the construction industry and building code officials. “The new State Building Code includes International Model Codes, which represent a significant change from the previous Uniform Codes,” said Tom Joachim, State Building Official and director of the Building Codes and Standards Division. “The purpose of the code is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life, health, property and the public welfare. Our goal is to have buildings throughout the state safe for all building occupants and emergency responders. “The committee recommendations form the basis for the new code,” he added. “The Building Codes and Standards Division then reviews their recommendations and begins the process of developing and approving the final code changes. The advisory committees have made solid recommendations that we believe will serve the citizens well. We are committed to providing the code enforcement community with up-todate codes that provide the minimum standards for safety while striking a balance with their economic viability.” The building code is updated periodically with advances in materials, techniques, research and knowledge. The last significant update occurred with adoption of the 1997 Uniform Building Code, implemented in 1998. (The press release included specific code amendments.) March 31, 2003

However, on March 31st everyone at BCSD took a moment to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that went into the most recent round of code updates. The list of people involved in the process is impressive. It begins with everyone involved at construction sites or involved in the development and manufacture of products. It continues with review, research, and many, many meetings involving everyone with a vested interest in code development. Finally, committee recommendations are translated into code amendments which are in turn implemented into construction process. The entire process then begins again.


408 METRO SQUARE BUILDING 121 7TH PLACE EAST • ST. PAUL MN 55101 (651) 296-4639 • FAX: (651) 297-1973 • TTY: (1-800) 627-3529

u Looking for a link... think red. MUST SEE IN THIS ISSUE u What’s New on our website u Manufactured Homes Committee launched.


Permit Color Quickly Identifies New Code
“We have been talking with
contractors for some time about the new code and set a date when we would no longer accept plans under the Becky Roy, building UBC.” explains Ron Nienaber, administrative assistant, City of Maple Grove Building Official. Maple Grove displays their old and new “We called all of our permits. contractors who had plans in for review and asked them to pick them up before the new code came into effect. The changing of the color of the permit forms allows our inspectors to know what code to inspect to at a moments glance.”

WEB SITE What’s checking the New Word to the wise... keep
u What’s New section on our website. As new information, including code related resources become available, this is the first place it is posted. If you have items you would see added to our website, please fill out a Question form or contact Jane at 651-296-6404, u Map to Building Codes and Standards u Press Releases u Events u NEW! u NEW! Snow Frost Load Depth Map Map

When a House Becomes a Drug Lab
The following code sections and resources can
be reviewed if a Building Official is directed to investigate whether a structure that has been determined by law enforcement to have been used for a drug lab is habitable or an unsafe structure: Minnesota Rules 1300.0110, DUTIES AND POWERS OF BUILDING OFFICIAL Minnesota Rules 1300.0180, UNSAFE BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES Minnesota Statutes, sections 463.15 to 463.26. Minnesota Rules 1300.0220, CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, Subpart 7, Revocation The local County Health Board may be an avenue of assistance [see Public Health Statutes 145].

u Building Evaluation Data 2002 UBC u Building Evaluation Data 2002 IBC u Manufactured Homes Advisory

Committee Application
u Minnesota Structural Engineering

Emergency Response Program County Health boards have fairly broad authority for the abatement of public nuisances and are an excellent partner in developing administrative policies or ordinances. A team approach with city and county staff, administration, attorneys and elected officials is useful for the developing administrative policies and ordinances for the abatement of meth labs. The Minnesota Department of Health web site has excellent information on a broad range of issues from identifying labs, lab clean, sample local ordinances and information on companies that perform environmental assessment and cleanup. The Department of Health has a number of excellent resouces on their website: Including: What is a Meth Lab and Sample local drug lab ordinances. If you have information or resource links you are willing to share with other Standard newsletter readers, please contact using our Question form.


Building Safety Week - An Opportunity to Recognize Accomplishments
Proclamation Minnesota Building Safety Week
WHEREAS: The safety of the buildings we occupy daily is essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the world; and WHEREAS: Among the world’s most fundamental laws and ordinances are those that provide standards for the safe construction of buildings in which people live, work, and play; and WHEREAS: It often goes unnoticed that building safety affects so many aspects of our daily lives, thanks to building safety code enforcement, we enjoy the comfort of structures that are safe and sound; and, WHEREAS: For construction and building codes to be effective and enforced, understanding and cooperation must exist between code officials and the people they serve; and WHEREAS: Through the efforts of code officials worldwide, and their cooperative relationship with the construction industry, the administration of these health and life-safety standards is ensured; and WHEREAS: Building Safety Week is an opportunity to educate the public and a perfect time to increase public awareness of the life safety services provided by local and state building departments as well as federal agencies; and, WHEREAS: The International Code Council, in partnership with dedicated building safety and fire officials, architects, engineers, and the construction industry, develops and enforces the codes that safeguard us in our homes, at school, and the buildings we work in; and, WHEREAS: The theme of Building Safety Week 2003 is, “Safe Buildings Save Lives,” and it encourages all of us to raise our level of awareness of building safety and to take appropriate steps to improve our built environment; and, WHEREAS: Construction codes have improved the safety and security of our citizens and countless lives have been saved because of the construction codes adopted and enforced by local and state agencies. NOW, THEREFORE I, TIM PAWLENTY, Governor of the State of Minnesota, do hereby proclaim the week of April 6 - 12, 2003, to be Minnesota Building Safety Week Building Safety Week Proclamation displayed by (L) Roger Axel, Certified Building Official representing the City of New Hope and (R) Thomas R. Joachim, State Building Official and director of the Building Codes and Standards Division.

The building code of 4,000 years ago was
simple, if somewhat brutal. According to the Code of Hammurabi,

“If a builder builds a house and does not make its construction firm, and the house collapses and causes the death of the owner, that builder shall be put to death.”
As Minnesota and the world celebrate Building Safety Week April 6-12, the professionals enforcing today’s codes maintain the vigilance of Hammurabi, but with a significantly more civilized approach emphasizing knowledge and education. With the theme of “Safe Buildings Save Lives,” Building Safety Week is sponsored by the International Code Council (ICC), which works with communities around the world to promote the use, enforcement and understanding of the importance of building codes to public safety. In addition to building, fire and other code officials, ICC members include architects, engineers, builders, building owners, building managers, and building product manufacturers.
continued on page 5


Manufactured Homes Advisory Committee
Last Meeting: March 25, 2003 Next Meeting: June 26, 2003 at 1:00 p.m., Minnesota Building Codes and Standards office, map or call for directions, 651-296-4639 Current Agenda Items 1. Housing Act of 2000 MHAC is reviewing Minnesota state laws and rules and will make recommendations for changes to parallel the Housing Act of 2000 passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The Act requires that states bring their laws and rules for installation standards and dispute resolution into line by 2005. 2. NFPA Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee - Current Issues The committee was updated on some of the issues being reviewed on at the national level by the HUD Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee and provided with documents to review and comment on, as an individual, per the federal program by April 24, 2003. CFR 3285 deals with the installation program – training and licensing. CFR 3286 deals with dispute resolution. For more information on this subject go to: HUDManufacturedHousing/hudmanufactured housing.asp 3. Review of Minnesota Statutes 327.31-.35, 327B and the 24-item checklist. After review, recommendations for changes will be made. Example: What would need to be done to eliminate the used home sale from “compliance to the standard it was built” and create a manufacture disclosure form similar to a real estate transaction. Although the real estate disclosure discloses problems like water intrusion, bugs, cracks, or roof leaks and not deficiencies of the code which would be some items we would want included. 3. Other topics of discussion for future meetings: sales people licensing and bonding

Committee member participation sought from county and municipal, lending, and citizen organizations. If anyone is aware of someone that could and would represent any of these three areas they can get an application from the Minnesota Building Codes website buildingcodes/. If you have questions regarding the MHAC committee, contact Randy Vogt, or 651-296-9927. Current Committee Members: Licensed Installer Representatives
• • • • • • • Scott Lund, Rite-way Mobile Home Repair, Inc Duane Sanow, Sanow & Helle, Inc. Larry Hesse, Creative Housing, Inc. Michael Ives, Mike Ives Realty David Lindberg, Woodlund Homes David Johnson, The Homark Company, Inc. Joel Buller, HBOS Manufacturing, LP/ Schult Homes

Licensed Dealer/Retailer Representatives

Licensed General Contractor Representative Licensed Manufacturers Representatives

Minnesota Manufactured Housing Association Representative
• • • Mark Brunner, MMHA Ken Kammereer, City of Redwood Falls Loren Kohnen, Metro West Inspection Service

Municipal Building Officials Representaives

Minnesota Department of Commerce Representative
• Charles Durenberger, Contractor Licensing Investigation Supervisor

League of Minnesota Cities Representative
• Laura Offerdahl

MN Department of Administration, Building Codes Division Representaives
• • Randy Vogt, Building Codes Representative Duane Delonais, Building Codes Representaive

Construction Codes Advisory Committee Next Meeting: May 1, 2003 1:00 - 4:00


Building Safety Week continued from page 3
Building code regulations enforced in communities in Minnesota help ensure minimum standards for safe homes, schools, workplaces and other buildings. Building codes regulate all structural, health, building, and fire safety aspects of the built environment during the time of construction. They are enforced by professionals in local city halls, fire departments, county courthouses, and at state and federal levels. (A map of Minnesota counties that have adopted the State Building Code is attached.) “Safe buildings that save lives don’t happen by chance,” says Tom Joachim, State Building Official. “Building Safety Week recognizes the importance of safe buildings and the professionals who make sure buildings are safe in our community. We are committed to providing the code enforcement community with up-to-date codes that provide the minimum standards for safety, striking a balance with their economic viability.” The importance of regulating and enforcing building codes is often overlooked until a catastrophic tragedy occurs. By inspecting buildings during and after construction, building, fire and other code officials help to ensure that buildings in the community are safe, sound and accessible places to work, play and live. Cities also enforce property maintenance regulations and fire codes. They review building plans, issue permits, conduct inspections, and certify buildings in compliance. Building Safety Week began in 1980 and continues to promote the use, enforcement and understanding of building codes for safeguarding the public. It also recognizes

professional code enforcement officials who regularly attend educational training to make sure they are aware of the latest code changes and technological advances in construction. “We strive to be proactive in the area of education,” said Roger Axel, a city building official and chairman of the Association of Minnesota Building Officials “Providing educational opportunities for building officials, manufacturers, suppliers and homeowners will help prevent problems.” The first building codes in the United States were established in 1625 and addressed fire safety and specified materials for roof coverings. In 1630, Boston outlawed wooden chimneys and thatch roof coverings. In the late 1770s, George Washington recommended that imposition of height and area limitations on wood frame buildings in his plans for the District of Columbia. In 1788, the first known formal building code was written in the United States (in German) in Old Salem, (now Winston-Salem) North Carolina. Larger U.S. cities began establishing building codes in the early 1800s. In 1865, New Orleans became the first city to enact a law requiring inspections of public places. The National Board of Fire Underwriters published its Recommended National Building Code in 1905. In 1915, the world’s first building safety code organization was established as a forum for exchanging ideas regarding building safety and construction regulations. Modern building codes regulate a myriad of safety systems including design and structural requirements, fire prevention, electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems, accessibility, and energy efficiency.

It’s never to early to start planning for the State Fair!
Building Officials - Check the Schedule and Mark Your Calendars.


Builders & Remodelers Show

Congratulations to Newly Designated Building Officials
• Kevin White – Columbia Heights • Dan Marthaler – City of Starbuck • Scot Rosevold – Township of Greenbush • Roger Wiley (acting Building Official) – City of Anoka • Bernard F. Schulte – City of Bird Island • Marc Davis - City of Ely • Ronald Voth - City of Madison Lake • Franklin Martin - City of Inver Grove Heights • Bernard Schulte - City of Paynesville and City of Atwater • Marvin Cromwell - City of Brandon • Allen Zepper - City of Gem Lake • Daryl Pederson - Kandiyohi County • Brita Van Horn - Scott County

r Many building officials, vendors, and friends stopped to visit with Peter Kulcyk and Tim Manz at the BCSD booth at the 2003 Builder’s Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The BCSD Display is available for Building Officials to use at special events. To reservation the display and/or request materials, contact Jane at: or (651) 296-6204.

Farewell to Best wishes Elroy Berdahl to Benny Svien who has retired who has left state service. after 30+ years of state service.

BCSD Question Form
u USE TO: Request to be added to the mailing list to be notified when The Standard newsletter is posted, press releases or bulletins are posted. A quick way to send questions regarding Building Codes or related issues.
q q q q q q Accessibility Certification Code Administration Director’s Office Education Elevator Safety q q q q q q q Manufactured Structures Office Staff Plan Review Regional Services Rules Structural Engineering Communications Office q q q q q q q Accessibility Certification Code Administration Director’s Office Education Elevator Safety Information q q q q q q Manufactured Structures Office Staff Plan Review Regional Services Rules Structural Engineering Communications Office


Was the person you spoke with . . . ...courteous? ...knowledgeable? ...understandable? ...helpful? Was the response time satisfactory?

Yes Somewhat No

q q q q q

q q q q q

q q q q q