Showdown in Denver

CRA and ERA join forces to defeat a Denver City Council building code amendment

At its March 7 meeting, the Denver City Council voted unanimously to adopt new building codes for the city's metropolitan area. The new codes are based on the International Code Council's (ICC's) 2015 model codes, which are recognized as models for achieving state-of-the-art safety and energy efficiency in building construction. ICC updates the codes every three years, and they have become the standard for thousands of municipalities worldwide.

During the same meeting, the Denver City Council also approved a package of amendments to the ICC's model codes that reflect the specific requirements and climate of the Denver area. As adopted, the code amendments cover a wide variety of situations from requiring new homes be wired to support charging an electric car to standards for inspection of facilities that are growing Colorado's newly legal marijuana crop. (Each year, more than 75,000 building permits are issued in Denver, and each one must meet the specifics of the building codes.) The March vote of the city council was the culmination of an 18-month process to review the new codes, as well as the 170 amendments proposed to modify them.

With the adoption of the 2016 Denver Building Code, the city will be in a transition period until the new code's effective date: Sept. 12. Before Sept. 12, customers may apply for building permits under the 2011 code or the 2016 code. On Sept. 12 and after, customers must adhere to the 2016 code unless given prior approval.

But the final code did not include one of the amendments in the energy code portion that was of significant interest to the roofing industry.