ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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U.S. Department of Defense Turns to Private Sector for Military Construction Codes

New York, Sep 23, 2002

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) maintains a policy of selecting the best model code provisions and industry standards available for military construction use by all DoD divisions, and has recently turned to the private sector in selecting codes for its Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC). Following a multi-year review, the DoD's new guidance document - UFC 1-200-01, Design: General Building Requirements - incorporates important private sector standards into a single model building code for design and construction of all military projects.

DoD has utilized the standards and codes of several American National Standards Institute (ANSI) members in its UFC, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the =American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the International Code Council (ICC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Roofing and Contractors Association (NRCA).

A number of NFPA codes used in the UFC 1-200-01 are key elements in the first 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 in 2003, the C3 set will offer coordinated and integrated safety codes for the entire building community. According to the UFC 1-200-01, military structures will comply with key elements of the C3 set.

"The Department of Defense has been using NFPA codes and standards in the design and construction of its facilities for years," said James M. Shannon, NFPA president and chief executive officer. "The Unified Facilities Criteria continues the military's use of NFPA documents and will play an important role in the safety of military structures."

The UFC 1-200-01 also incorporates the ICC's International Building Code (2000 IBC), with modifications and limitations. The IBC is part of a comprehensive, coordinated set of codes produced by the ICC and has been widely adopted by states and municipalities across the country. The IBC represents minimum standards that must be met by the private sector construction industry to safeguard public health and safety.

"The International Code Council is proud that its codes now serve our government as well as the private sector," said ICC CEO Bob Heinrich. "The goal is to produce one set of codes to protect public safety throughout America. The military usage of ICC codes puts the nation one step closer to accomplishing that."

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 mandates coordination of federal agencies as well as state and local governments to achieve greater reliance on voluntary standards and lessened dependence on in-house standards when there is potential to simplify contracting, improve timeliness and cost effectiveness. The law has many objectives including the creation of safer structures.

While the military often requires higher standards in building projects and constructs some facilities that do not exist in the private sector, using private industry standards for DoD projects promotes communication in the marketplace, improves competition, and results in cost savings. The application of these private sector codes and standards in DoD projects reflects a continued commitment to keep military personnel as safe as possible whether on base or in the field.