Minnesota’s newsletter for the building industry

In This Issue – Click on red text for links to more info. u Annual ICC Convention u Elevator Team Update u Mfg Homes Updates u MSBC - FAQ u New Building Officials u BCSD News u www.mncodes Update u Survey & Email Request

Annual ICC Convention

The International Code Council is a 50,000-member association
dedicated to building safety, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. The majority of U.S. cities, counties and states that adopt codes choose building safety and fire prevention codes developed by the ICC, including the state of Minnesota. Curt Wiehle, BCSD Education-Accessibility was one of four BCSD staff attended the conference. He reports that 36 accessibility code change proposals were submitted. Two were withdrawn at the hearing and eight were approved by the committee. Many of the proposals were editorial in nature and will clarify the requirements. “The action of ‘disapproval’ was actually the desired action on several of the proposals,” explains Curt. “This is due to the fact that the 2003 ANSI A117.1 document has not been finalized at this time and several proposals are contingent on this document. These items may be reconsidered should a final A117.1 become available prior to the end of the development cycle.” He adds that several other proposals may be reworked and resubmitted during the public comment period. Don Sivigny, BCSD - Education, was in Nashville to testify on Minnesota’s behalf on changes to the International Residential Code as well as other topics. “I am happy to report that all the changes that BCSD was there to testify on for these documents were a success.” states Sivigny as he outlines the major changes: 1. Requiring window manufacturers to supply written instructions for flashing of their products.

Continued on page 2


651.296.4639 • FAX: 651.297.1973 • TTY: (1-800) 627.3529 WWW.BUILDINGCODES.ADMIN.STATE.MN.US

Come visit our booth at the Minnesota Counties Annual Conference December 8-9 Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1

Annual ICC Convention

continued from page 1

2. The state of Minnesota currently has a requirement in our code by amendment to require a weather-resistive barrier over all sheathings. Sivigny adds that due to the success of the state of Minnesota in the field of energy, BCSD was able to assist the Department of Energy through testimony with changes to the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Chapter 11 of the IRC. Dan Kelsey, BCSD - Structural Engineer, reports that over 100 proposed amendments to the structural portions of the International Building Code were acted on. “By attending these hearings we are aware of the changes to the national model codes and we also have first hand knowledge of the background and intent of the new code provisions,” explains Kelsey. “This is necessary for us to apply the national codes to the state of Minnesota.” Among code changes proposed during the annual ICC Convention, were two significant

changes are related to 9/11 and the Rhode Island nightclub fire. In response to concerns about the fire-resistance rating of structural elements in high-rise buildings, ICC members approved a revision to the International Building Code that will require the structural system to be three-hour fire-resistance rated instead of the current two-hour requirement. This change could allow time for more people to escape or be rescued from a burning highrise building. The Rhode Island nightclub fire also resulted in a code change proposal that tightens the threshold for sprinklers. The International Fire Code Committee voted unanimously to require nightclubs, restaurants, banquet halls and similar facilities to have sprinklers if occupancy is more than 100 people. Previous occupancy for required sprinklers was 300. Those and other code change proposals will be on the agenda in May when ICC holds its final code development hearings for the 2006 I-Codes. The ICC website is

What’s New From the Elevator Safety Section

The October 2002 issue of The Standard had a detailed feature about the BCSD Elevator Safety Section. However, there have been some staff changes over the past year, so John Roche, temporary supervisor since Elroy Berdhal retired earlier this year, has provided an update. We have a lot of new type of elevator/escalator innovations coming into play this upcoming year: - Machine roomless elevators (hoist machine located in the hoistway). - Ascending brakes (brakes that stop the elevator in the up direction in the event of over speeding). - Hoist cables made from Aramid (Kevlar®) instead of steel. - Escalator skirt brushes (product that reduces foot entrapment). - Skirts that move with the steps (product to reduce foot entrapment). - A large number of technical advancements. Elevator Inspectors Matt Piper, Jerry Saarenpaa, Darren DeJoy, Bill Reinke, and Mark Johnson are still plugging away. Renee Gavin has been supplying much needed support. Jim Weaver was added to our staff hired as an elevator inspector.


Manufactured Homes Committee Report
Next meeting: January 22, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. Minnesota Building Codes and Standards Division office. Call for directions, 612-2964639 or use the map link. The manufactured home advisory committee meeting schedule and requirements for review will depend on two major issues: 1. The adoption of HUD installation standards (required to be in place by 2005) and what MN will need to change to meet the requirements of HUD. At the MHCC December 2003 meeting the MHCC will be presenting it’s final draft of suggested national installation standards to HUD for their approval. This places the MN MHAC in the position of no major changes until HUD makes it’s final acceptance. 2. The MN MHAC is also waiting to see what proposals are suggested to statutes by industry and private sector in the 2004 MN legislator (possible salesperson licensing, changes to bond requirements, continued education required for dealers and salespersons, etc.). These could also be affected by HUD changes in dispute resolution requirements or consumer protection rules required to be matched by states prior to 2005. Topics for the MN MHAC will be; • HUD review of MHCC installation standards. • Review for changes or problems with MN Mech Code, Chapter G9 (mobile home park gas lines), members were informed that hearing were to be held in November 2003. • Review code compliance checklist (now 26-items) for recommendations to make changes to statutes 327.31-327.34 on used homes back to 1972 or if the checklist should be used a legal disclaimer in used mobile home sales. • Review and suggest changes to Chapter 1350 and the current installation standards. If you have any questions regarding the MHAC Committee, Contact Randy Vogt at 651.296.9927, or Duane DeLonais at 651.296.4629,

2004 Manufactured Home Seminar Dates Set

Dates for the Spring Manufactured Homes Seminars are: April 8 - St. Cloud April 13 - Burnsville April 15 - Detroit Lakes April 20 - Duluth April 22 - Maplewood April 27 - Willmar April 29 - Austin

If you would like to receive information and a registration form for this seminar, please contact Cindy Jackson at 651.296.4628 or Please provide the following information: Name Mailing Address City, State, Zip Business Phone Email Address Or fax this information to 651.297.1973 Attn: Cindy Jackson Manufactured Homes Seminars

Photos courtesy of Oakwood/Schult Homes


Minnesota State Building Code Questions & Answers
Q: When do the codes adopted by the State of Minnesota go into effect? A: The latest edition of the MSBC was effective March 31, 2003. Q: What adoption methods are available to jurisdictions that administer the MSBC? A: Two (2) methods of adoption are available: Method 1. The jurisdiction can pass an ordinance that adopts the MSBC by reference. Example: The City of _____ adopts the latest edition of the MSBC. Note: The jurisdiction’s fee schedule and any of the three optional chapter of the MSBC must then be separately adopted by ordinance. Method 2. The jurisdiction can specifically adopt each rule, their fee schedule and any of the three optional characters of the MSBC. Note: There are approximately a dozen sets of rules, not all are adopted at the the same time. Under this method, a jurisdiction would need to update their ordinance each time new rules are adopted. Q: Can a jurisdiction amend the MSBC? A: No. A jurisdiction cannot amend the MSBC either by being more restrictive or less restrictive. However, there is one exception. MS16B.62 allows a jurisdiction to adopt provisions that are more restrictive than the MSBC where geological conditions exist that would warrant the change, and the State Building Official approves the request. Q: Can a jurisdiction not enforce certain provisions of the MSBC? A: No. When a jurisdiction adopts the MSBC, all provisions are to be administered. Q: How do manufacturers’ installation instructions fit into code administration? A: Generally, the model codes adopted by reference in the MSBC require compliance to the applicable sections of the code and the manufacturers’ installation instructions.

The Minnesota State Building Code is now on the website in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
Although the printed version of the Minnesota State Building Code is the easiest for most building industry officials to work with, we have also created an Adobe Acrobat PDF (portable document file) version for quick reference. Before you can open the pdf file you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Download this software by clicking Adobe. After Acrobat Reader has been installed, click on MSBC. The first page of the document will instruct you to open Bookmarks which is the same as a table of contents. Just click on the bookmarks icon in the tool bar at the top of the screen. Added feature: Many of the Helpful Information pages in the first 15 pages of the book include helpful links.

Check the What’s New section of our website regularily for the most recent postings:
Current notices in What’s New: u Opinion: Sizing secondary roof drains u Minnesota State Building Code in PDF. u Accessibility requirements for Group I and R Occupancies u Adoption of Fee Schedule by Ordinance u What is Appealable by a Bd of Appeals u Explanation of the Agricuture Building Exception to the State Building Code Other Items of Interest in What’s New: u BCSD Calendar u Current Newsletter and Archive u Maps u Question Form and Contact Info



Congratulations to the state’s recently designated municipal Building Officials: • Murray Ward – Grand Rapids • Fredrick Patch – Hanover • Donald Olson – Andover • Cliff Skogstag – MilleLacs County • Nick Schmitz – Town of Columbus

We have appointed Mr. Nirmal Jain to our Mechanical Code Rep position. Nirmal comes to us with over 30 years of experience in HVAC engineering and electrical distribution design, the last 19 as a Senior Engineering Specialist for 3M. His first day is December 3,2003.

New BCSD Staff

News Tips & Topics Welcomed
Do you have an idea for an article or an announcement you think might be appropriate for our readership. Contact Jane Schmidley at 651-296-6204 or

BCSD staff are always On the Move...
q Elevator Staff Matt Piper, Bill Reinke, and Mark Johnson attended the National Association of Elevator Safety Authority International Conference in Indianapolis.

Take a sneak peek at the new website under construction:

This site will soon become your one stop for code information.
Heating, Accessibility for the Ventilating, A/C Plumbing Special Energy Disabled Systems Conservation Requirements Electrical Floodproofing Administrative Provisions Non-residential Construction Prefabricated Structures Manufactured Homes Minnesota State Boilers & Fire Code High Pressure Piping Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings Elevator Residential Construction Solar Energy Systems Special Indust/ Sprinkler Modular Requirements Bldgs

Minnesota State Building Code

For the lastest announcements, check out What’s New at: www.buildingcodes.admin.


Request for Email Notification
Email is an efficient and effective method for distributing information and announcements. However, we respect your time and promise: - To keep emails very brief. - To limit the frequency of email distribution. - To not include attachments. Any documents referenced in emails are posted on our website unless otherwise noted. q Yes! I would like to receive a brief email notices from Building Codes and Standards. Topics I am interested in include: q Anything related to the Minnesota State Building Code q Educational Opportunities or Information: q For certification purposes. q For technical/informational purposes. My areas of interest include:
q Accessibility q Building Plan Preparation q Building Safety and Security q Code Administration and Reports q Construction Materials: _____________________ q Elevator Safety q Electricity* q Energy* q Fire Safety* q Industry Standards and Models* q Legal Issues:______________________________ q Manufactured Homes q IBC Modular/Prefabricated Structures q Mechanical Systems (ventilation) q Occupancy Codes q Plan Review q Professional Responsibility q Plumbing* q Problems: flooding, mold, ___________________ q Roof/Ceiling Design and Construction q Rulemaking q Structural Engineering q Windows and Doors* Other:_______________________________
Some training is provided with other agencies .

Check your most recent contact with us:
q q q q q q q q q Accessibility Staff Accounting Staff Certification Staff Code Administration Staff Director’s Office Education Staff Elevator Safety Staff Manufactured Structures Mechanical Bond Staff q q q q q q q q Office Staff Plan Review Staff Reception Staff Regional Services Staff Rules Staff Structural Engineering Staff Website Staff Other: ____________________ __________________________ __________________________

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

We appreciate your feedback! If you have comments or suggestions you would like to share, we would like to hear from you. Be sure to include any feedback regarding our website:


___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ ___________________________________ Fax: 651-297-1973
Direct: 651-296-4639 TTY: 800-627-3529

Building Codes and Standards Division

408 Metro Square Building, 121 East 7th Place, St. Paul, MN 55101-2181