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Re: NFPA 5000 - Why? And Where?

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The reasons are more political than technical.  There are three main backers of the NFPA code.  The first are those that felt they were not treated fairly (i.e. did not get their way) during the IBC code development process.  The second is the plumbers union.  The IBC allows plastic pipe (read non-union) where the NFPA requires metal pipe.  The unions are supplying direct and indirect money to support the NFPA (read campaign contributions).  The third, and basically related to number 2, is Ted Kennedy.  NFPA is headquartered in Massachusetts.  When the government (FEMA, etc.) were starting to rally around the IBC, Ted was introducing bills to require the government to be non-code specific.

Here in California we currently have a traditional very liberal, union backed governor.  I am sure if he has any say he will lean towards the NFPA to get votes and more $$.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting

"Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)>

09/10/2002 08:29 AM
Please respond to seaint

        To:        <seaint(--nospam--at)>
        Subject:        NFPA 5000 - Why? And Where?

Just the other day I had a building official in a small city in north Texas
tell me that "NFPA decided not to publish it's building code after all."

I thought he was incorrect, but deferred to his statement, since (as I
assume) building officials get the inside scoop on all that stuff. Besides,
he sounded very informed about the issue.

Now, here's an article in the latest STRUCTURAL ENGINEER magazine, telling
us that NFPA has now been issued.

What I want to know is:

1) Why did they proceed with development of this code, even in the face of
all the negative criticism not only from the "big three" code development
orgs who now support the ICC, but from building officials, design
professionals and others?

2) Who is going to use this code? To me, since the vast majority of
code-adoption jurisdictions have a clear, natural migration path from
UBC/SBC/NBC to IBC and its related cousins, NFPA 5000 seems to be in the
same situation as that of the personal computing world, where IBM's OS/2 was
a better, but born-to-lose contestant for the PC desktop in the face of
Microsoft's "Windows Everywhere" in the early 90s.

I'd like some comments, especially from those who are more familiar with
what is going on.