Building Codes & Enforcement

Stringent Enforcement and Increased Education

States and local communities are often faced with several challenges in terms of adopting stringent regulations, including building codes. Obstacles can range from opposition from developers and community members to the lack of resources for enforcement. Improved outreach and education is at the forefront of overcoming these challenges. Staff and local government officials must be properly trained and educated to ensure they are up-to-date on the latest standards. Citizens and developers must be educated on the importance of hazard-resistant buildings to promote adoption of the latest standards. By appropriately equipping all stakeholders with this knowledge it could aid in expediting the adoption process for the latest building codes and promote communities to be proactive. In Maryland, building codes are adopted every three years. State law requires the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to adopt the newest edition of building codes, including IBC, IRC, and IECC, within 18 months of being published by the International Code Council (ICC). Local jurisdictions are required to amend and adopt the State's building codes within 12 months after adoption by DLLR. The best tools for applying hazard-resistant building codes will be on-going education of building code officials and strict enforcement. Communities must ensure that development and redevelopment adhere to codes and variances should be a rarity. Strict enforcement must be conducted throughout the entire process, including plan reviews, permitting, construction, and inspection.

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Idea No. 2325