Washington Bill to Place State on Six-year Code Cycle Defeated
SB 5378, which originated in the Senate, died in Assembly committee at the close of the legislative session on April 30. The bill proposed to place the state’s residential and commercial building codes – including life safety and energy codes – on a 6-year adoption cycle. Lawmakers were concerned that extending the code cycle from the current 3 years to 6 years would impact the state’s energy goals, as well as disallow new technologies and construction innovations. Some of the technology embraced in the new codes includes advances in solar photovoltaic design, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, data processing centers and energy management systems. Adopting the most current life safety and energy codes is essential to allow these new technologies to be implemented and keep the State of Washington economically competitive.
The Washington Legislature will likely appoint a Task Force to study the issue of code adoptions before the start of the next year’s legislative session. Representatives and stakeholders from throughout the industry will participate, including building and fire code officials, contractors, labor, manufacturers, suppliers, testing agencies and other interested parties. NEMA continues to remain engaged in this effort.
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