Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
September 2004
Wisconsin Commercial Building Code Update

July, 2004 marked the two-year anniversary of the adoption of model codes to serve as the foundation of the Wisconsin Commercial Building code. Following reviews and hearings the State of Wisconsin adopted the 2000 IBC (International Building Code), IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), IMC (International Mechanical Code) and the IFGC (International Fuel Gas Code). The model codes are based on a three-year cycle, with the first thought on everyone's mind being the possible adoption of the 2003 versions.

The transition time associated with one of the largest changes in recent history to the Wisconsin commercial building code has involved training as well as adjustment for all involved in the commercial buildings industry. Considering the time dedicated to that transition, the decision was made to evaluate the 2003 suite of codes and include those changes in an amendment package, which is currently slated for adoption in January of 2005.

The Division of Safety and Buildings is currently in the early stages of what will hopefully become the normal Wisconsin Commercial Building Code (WCBC) update. The division has had one specialty council meeting. The Means of Egress and Accessibility advisory council met on August 31, 2004 to review the proposed changes from the 2003 IBC and those that have currently been approved for the 2006 version. The division is planning on the adoption of the 2006 versions of the ICC codes (IBC, IECC, IMC, IFGC) that constitute the WCBC to take place in 2007. Along with the adoption of the 2006 version the division is also considering the International Existing Buildings Code. The current process has not scheduled any hearings at this time. Public hearings are being targeted for the early part of 2006.

The amendment package, which has been referred to under the acronym of MUFU (which stands for updates and fix ups), will be implemented with replacement pages to be included in code books of individuals already owning copies of the enrolled commercial building code. ("Enrolled code", meaning copies of the commercial building code that include all four adopted model codes and enrolled amendments). Details involving the replacement pages are not yet available.

The current timeline for the update and fix up package is slated for January 2005 adoption with an effective date in spring or early summer. It is anticipated that the details of replacement pages will be similar to those utilized with the initial adoption. In essence, we will make the replacement pages available on-line and will have some hard copies available. Those ordering the enrolled code will get the code plus replacement pages until the current printed stock of the enrolled code are exhausted. When the next printing takes place, the changes will be rolled right into the code that is sent out, with nothing to take out, replace, or add.

Further information regarding the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code, along with adoption and update information can be directed to Jim Smith, program manager, 608.266.0251 or email at jsmith@commerce.state.wi.us.

-- Henry Kosarzycki, A.I.A.

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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