Promoting the Safety and Performance
Of the Built Environment Through
Education and Code Development
The Northridge earthquake’s 20th anniversary occurred this year. It had a magnitude of 6.7 and one of the highest accelerations ever instrumentally recorded in an urban area in North America, measuring 1.8g in Tarzana, and was felt 220 miles away in Las Vegas.1 This event and other earthquakes are often forgotten by the general populist along with developers, builders, architects and engineers who do not update themselves regarding newly adopted codes and standards. This is why I remain committed to the formation of an “Emergency Management Committee” to assist in the development and training of local code officials and licensed professionals. I also hope to see our website develop into a model tool that can be used by Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) when the need arises to coordinate efforts of certified Safety Assessment Program (SAP) professionals in mutual aide when requested by the County emergency management. A well-organized effort on our part, ahead of any natural disaster, can and will be a tool in assisting local and regional AHJs.
New challenges come with adopting the 2013 California Building Standards Code to AHJs regarding uniform interpretations and enforcement of the new language. This is the time to focus our Code Committee on those new challenges for assistance in a uniform approach to enforcement regarding the new codes. I also see our Code Committee advancing code development through collaborative efforts with other ICC Chapters through cdpAccess, which will process our efforts through the development process. This need for uniform enforcement and collaborative efforts emphasizes our need to continuously educate our members and licensed professionals through our educational seminars and through our scholarship fundraising.
Therefore, it is our Chapter’s responsibility to follow the words of California Building Standards Commission Executive Director Jim McGowan, “Our objective is to produce a practical building code that ensures public safety first and foremost while implementing the most efficient technology available to conserve the state’s natural resources and energy use,”2 as well as to equally enforce those standards and assist others when needs arise.
Orange Empire Chapter
City of Newport Beach