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November 1, 2018
Here are brief summaries of significant matters impacting the design and construction community on which the Building-Development Commission and the Code Enforcement Department have focused from July 1, 2018, through September 31, 2018:
On July 13th a memo was distributed to all customers notifying them of the 2018 NCSBC effective change dates. The 2018 NC Building, Residential (Single Family), Existing Building, Energy, Fire Prevention, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Fuel Gas Codes has a transition period beginning July 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018. The absolute cutoff date, established by the BCC, for use of the 2012 NC State Building Code family, is December 31, 2018.
It is very important for professionals to closely monitor and determine when their project's design will switch to the new 2018 NC State Building Code family. Compliance with the above transition period and Department policy are essential.
We strongly recommended submittal of plans for new commercial projects, residential projects, master plan projects, and renovation up-fits (encompassing 20,000sf. or more), no later than August 31st. We recommend submission of smaller commercial plans no later than October 1, 2018. Even if submitted by these dates, customers should carefully monitor their project timelines if their projects move to a second or subsequent review cycle to ensure the project does not linger without moving forward into the permitting phase, once approved.
If your project permit(s) documents are not submitted by 4:45 p.m. on December 28, 2018 (regardless of plan submission date), you will be required to comply with the 2018 North Carolina Building Code family (excludes electrical). This may require additional plan review cycles and/or fees; taking extra time. While state law requires the Department to issue code compliant permits, the burden is on the owner's team to estimate when your permit will be issued.
2. HB-948 Early Observations
The Department has completed a lot of work for HB948 and has been submitting reports to DOI monthly on high failure rate contractors; tracking (under normal conditions) 10-15 items. The conflict within HB948 is the two-day requirement. DOI will contact the Director of Code Enforcement when inspections go beyond the two-day requirement and will then shut off the contractor on any inspections over two days. The Department is confident in the two-day delay within the program and will need to shut off the HFR modular for now.
HB948 passed and we requested House Representative Brody to meet with the Department. Representative Brody shared his ideas on why the bill passed and agreed with our process. We now have a new tool on the contractor's dashboard, for use of components and elements, to include a required form submittal. The contractor can choose to have a design professional perform an inspection, submit a letter of completion to the contractor for upload to our system. We now require this form to be completed in an effort to maintain consistency, along with educating and training staff. This form is an electronic fill-in form, it cannot be altered, and the inspector will know exactly what to inspect based on the form. The form became mandatory on October 1st and is located on the contractors' dashboard (for residential footings only) and the Department's website.
3. Focus Group Update
The Code Enforcement Service Streams Customer Focus group was created and met August 30th with the Commercial group and September 11th with the Residential group. Building Development Commission Representatives submitted names of those that volunteered to serve in these focus groups. Attending were 23 commercial participants and 12 residential participants. Meetings were facilitated by Shannon Clubb, Melanie Sellers, and Sue Kumar. In these meetings, we shared high-level sketches of the current state of our plan review workflows, along with our vision of the future, which includes cloud based-file management, no sheet index, and a potential change of platform or software, among other improvements.
4. HCDT Now SPECIAL PROJECTS TEAM
The Department received many suggestions from AIA and various associations on the rebranding of the Hybrid Collaborative Delivery Team (HCDT). After reviewing all suggestions; the "SPECIAL PROJECTS TEAM" was selected as the new name for the HCDT. The Department is looking at sustainable design items and will integrate this into the Special Projects Team.