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Two Codes !!

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To which I reply: Hooray for NFPA.

I too would like a common code, ICC isn't it. Have you looked at it? A
bigger smozzle cannot be imagined.

It is a direct result of a bunch of building officials getting together and
making rules for things which they often have zero experience in, and often
do not even understand.

NFPA hit the nail on the head: Nowhere is it written that the sole experts
on safety are the building officials. Yet they are the only ones to get a
vote on the committees and the ICC itself. They have appointed themselves

You need balanced committees like ANSI requires to write decent
regulations, something ICC sorely lacks.

NFPA will use a balanced committee approach similar to ANSI. No wonder the
ICC is upset. It breaks the building official monopoly on the field.
However, we should see a lot better code come out of it. I certainly hope
so, because the ICC is a mess from beginning to end. If this is the price
of code unification, count me out. 

Many threads have already discussed its shortcomings in the structural end
of things (and this area is better than most), so I offer this example: In
a shopping mall, ICC requires a 2 hr rated partition between the end
(anchor store) buildings and the enclosed mall. However, you're allowed a
700+ sq ft unprotected opening in the wall at each floor (!, and no, I am
not making this up). What genius dreamed this up? Certainly no one with a
modicum of common sense, let alone understanding of fire protection. [And,
yes, I do know the provenance of this requirement, but that's still no
excuse for a blatantly ridiculous provision.]

If the cost of code unification is the ICC, the price is far too high
already, and certain to climb if they manage to totally monopolize the

Hopefully NFPA will do better (Not difficult I suspect. A pack of
reasonably intelligent chimpanzees banging away at a keyboard would
probably improve on the ICC). I am willing to give them a try. Don't
condemn them on the basis of wrecking code unification efforts. That effort
is already stillborn as far as I'm concerned.

Peter S. Higgins, SE

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