New Residential Construction Will Require Sprinklers in 2011
The International Code Council (ICC) has formally approved a requirement that fire sprinklers must be added to new homes built after Jan. 1, 2011, turning away objections from builders groups who said it would swell construction budgets.
The requirement, which had been strongly supported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), was included in the International Residential Code (IRC) that was approved by the council after hearings in Baltimore in late October and early November.
Currently 48 states use the IRC as the basis for regulating residential construction. Several of those states have been slow in adopting code updates, according to the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition of public safety organizations.
At the hearings in Baltimore, four separate proposels from the National Association of Home Builders were turned away. The council voted 7-4 to reject the request to remove the requirement.
“ICC’s message on this matter is pretty clear,” says Jeffrey Shapiro, executive director of the IRC Fire Sprinkler Coalition. “Their membership has now supported the home fire sprinkler requirement at both the 2008 and 2009 annual hearings, and each of those votes passed by more than a two-thirds margin.”
Homebuilders had fought the adoption of the sprinklers, as SSI reported in its earlier coverage of the issue, “Residential Fire Debate Heats Up.”
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