HB 120, “Building Codes, Local Consistency” was a bipartisan effort sponsored by Representatives Tricia Cotham (D – Charlotte) and Bill Brawley (R – Matthews), among others. Representative Cotham was a particularly vocal advocate for the bill, after personally experiencing frustration with Mecklenburg County’s code officials while trying to open a drop-in child care business late last year.
Now that HB 120 has become law, it will impact the code inspection process in three important ways:
It will prevent local building code departments from requiring any more than the 8 inspections currently authorized under the North Carolina Building Code Council’s Administrative Code. It does NOT, however, limit the NUMBER of re-inspections that may be performed to ensure work is done according to code.
It extends the existing building code revision cycle for residential construction from 3 years to 6 years. However, still allows local code departments and individuals to petition for code revisions at any time. The extension will save money for builders, inspection departments, design professionals and others who must purchase the new codes and receive training on their implementation without sacrificing residential building performance or safety.
It directs the Department of Insurance (DOI) to make written and electronic code interpretations and all appeal decisions made by the Building Code Council available to the public by posting them on the Building Code Council’s website and by publishing them in the NC Register at least semi-annually. Making these routine interpretations and appeal decisions available to jurisdictions across the state will result in consistent code enforcement, prevent unnecessary inspection delays and act as a quick reference for local code officials for sections of the code that may be difficult to understand.
REBIC and the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA) lobbyied extensively for the passage of HB 120, and are grateful to Representative Cotham and everyone in the General Assembly who voted for this important legislation!