When the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council announced last month its issuance of NFPA 5000™, the Building Construction and Safety Code™, momentum was building for agreement on the first ever code sets to be developed through an ANSI-approved consensus process.
"The issuance of a building construction and safety code developed through NFPA's ANSI-accredited process is a historic step in enhancing safety," remarked James M. Shannon, NFPA president and chief executive officer.
An ANSI organizational member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, NFPA holds the status of ANSI Audited Designator; NFPA 5000 was approved as an American National Standard on August 8, 2002. The ANS contains provisions for every aspect of the design and construction of buildings and structures, as well as the design of integrated building systems for health, safety, comfort, and convenience. It provides for the selection and design of building construction types and structural design systems and assemblies, as well as fire protection systems and egress design requirements for life safety and protection. It is also the only building code featuring an occupancy-based format, along with integrated provisions for both performance-based design options and the rehabilitative use of existing buildings.
According to an NFPA spokesperson, NFPA 5000 also serves as a cornerstone for a proposed full, integrated set of ANSI-accredited codes and standards. The Comprehensive Consensus Codes (C3)™ set is being developed through a partnership involving NFPA, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
When completed, the C3 set is intended to include the coordinated and integrated safety codes for the entire building community, including:
NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code
NFPA 70, National Electrical Code®
NFPA 101, Life Safety Code®
NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code™
NFPA 54, National Fuel Gas Code
NFPA 58, Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code
NFPA 30, Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code
NFPA 30A, Code for Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities and Repair Garages
Uniform Mechanical Code™
Uniform Plumbing Code™
NFPA 900, Building Energy Code (ASHRAE 90.1 and 90.2)
As part of the C3 set effort, NFPA is working with the Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), promulgator of one of the most widely adopted fire codes in the United States, to develop a American National Standard NFPA 1, Uniform Fire Code. The proposed fire code will integrate the current american National Standard NFPA 1, Fire Prevention Code and the WFCA's Uniform Fire Code (UFC™), is targeted for approval and publication in 2003.
NFPA and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), another ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, are also collaborating on the development of an energy code element of the C3 set. When completed, the code will incorporate ASHRAE's widely used energy standards, Standard 90.1 and Standard 90.2, for energy efficient new commercial and residential buildings. This document is also targeted for a 2003 release date.
In addition, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), another ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, is pursuing updates to its Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC™) and Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC™) documents through ANSI's consensus-based process. The UPC and UMC are the most widely adopted plumbing and mechanical codes in the U.S.
"We're proud to be one of the partners in this effort to deliver a full set of codes developed through an ANSI-accredited consensus process," said Russ Chaney, executive director of IAPMO. "The C3 set will enhance public safety by providing jurisdictions with integrated, quality codes and services."
"Voluntary codes and standards for building safety are particularly important because of their impact on all workers and citizens," added Dr. Mark W. Hurwitz, ANSI president and CEO. "We are pleased to see the collaboration currently underway amongst our accredited standards developers and look forward to the resulting standards. Clearly, we believe that documents developed through ANSI's voluntary consensus process - and that include input from government, consumers, and industry - serve U.S. interests well."
The organizations also noted that the new codes and standards will equip the government, particularly agencies at the state and local levels, with sound technical solutions to safety and health problems without creating additional cost and operations burdens. As NFPA's Shannon explained, "The C3 set will allow state governments to select a quality, coordinated set of codes that will strengthen public safety while allowing states to most efficiently manage resources."
Content for this news item provided in news releases from NFPA and IAPMO.