Bill Summary for H 255 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Jun 24 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 255 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 17, 2015
AN ACT TO REFORM BUILDING CODE ENFORCEMENT TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH BY CONFORMING WORK IN PROGRESS INSPECTION AUTHORITY TO RECENTLY ENACTED INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, BY REQUIRING THE BUILDING CODE COUNCIL TO STUDY THE ALTERNATE METHODS APPROVAL PROCESS, BY CLARIFYING THE DEFINITION OF OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT FOR CODE OFFICIALS, BY RAISING THE THRESHOLD FOR REQUIREMENT OF A BUILDING PERMIT, BY CREATING THE BUILDING CODE COUNCIL RESIDENTIAL CODE COMMITTEE AND THE BUILDING CODE COMMITTEE, BY REQUIRING INTERNET POSTING OF CERTAIN COUNCIL DECISIONS AND INTERPRETATIONS, BY CLARIFYING THAT INSPECTION FEES COLLECTED BY CITIES AND COUNTIES MAY ONLY BE USED TO SUPPORT THE INSPECTION DEPARTMENT, AND BY REQUIRING THAT INSPECTIONS BE PERFORMED IN FULL AND IN A TIMELY MANNER AND INSPECTION REPORTS TO INCLUDE ALL ITEMS FAILING TO MEET CODE REQUIREMENTS, BY AUTHORIZING INSPECTIONS OF COMPONENTS OR ELEMENTS OF BUILDINGS CERTIFIED BY LICENSED ARCHITECTS OR LICENSED ENGINEERS, AND BY EXEMPTING CERTAIN COMMERCIAL BUILDING PROJECTS FROM THE REQUIREMENT OF A PROFESSIONAL SEAL.
Intro. by Brody, Riddell, Cotham.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 4th edition.

Amends the long title. 

Amends GS 143-136 concerning the Building Code Council, providing that the appointment of the member to the Building Code Council that is required to be an active member of the NC Fire Service with expertise in fire safety must be made based on the recommendation of the NC State Firemen's Association. 

Amends proposed GS 143-141(c1) to require the Department of Insurance to post and maintain on its website, in the areas devoted to the Council, all appeal decisions, interpretations, and variations of the Code issued by the Council within 10 business days of issuance (previously, required the posting of such information within three business days).

Amends GS 143-138.1(b) to require the Department of Insurance to post and maintain, on its website in the areas devoted to the Council, written commentaries and interpretations made and given by Council staff and the Department for each section of the Code within 10 business days of issuance (previously, required the posting of such information within three business days). 

Amends GS 153A-352 and GS 160A-412 concerning the duties and responsibilities of county and city inspectors and inspection departments, deleting language that required inspectors to conduct full inspections and provide permit holders with complete lists of all items that fail to meet the requirements of the Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings and replacing it with the requirement that inspectors conduct all inspections requested by a permit holder for each scheduled inspection visit. Further requires the inspector to inform the permit holder of instances where the work inspected is incomplete or fails to meet requirements of the NC Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings. 

Adds a new section amending GS 153A-352 and GS 160A-412 as follows. Requires counties and cities to accept and approve, without further responsibility to inspect, a design or other proposal for a component or element in the construction of a building from a licensed architect or engineer if (1) the submission is completed under valid seal of the architect or engineer, (2) field inspection of the installation or completion of construction is performed by the architect or engineer, and (3) that architect or engineer provides a signed document stating the component or element of the building inspected is in compliance with the NC State Building Code or the NC Residential Code for One- and Two-Family Dwellings. Discharges the county, city, their inspection departments, and inspectors from any duties and responsibilities with respect to the component or element in the building construction when the signed document is accepted and approved. Makes clarifying changes. Makes conforming changes to GS 153A-356 and GS 160A-416.

Adds language exempting commercial building projects having a total value of less than $90,000 and a total project area less than 2,500 square feet from the requirement for a professional architectural seal.

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