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UCC Review and Advisory Council

Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CareerLink Westmoreland County
151 Pavilion Lane
Youngwood, PA 15697

Council Members Present:

George W. Settle, Chair
Karen L. Welsh, Vice-Chair
Joseph A. Lavalle
Rich Roberts
R. Clem Malot
Thomas F. McCosby
Nathan Schaffer
Ray Cudwadie
Craig Glotfelty
Chris McQuail
Ed Fegley

Also Present:

Jennifer Berrier Esquire, Exec. Asst. to Deputy Secretary J. Scott Robinette
Dwight Decker, Esquire, Assistant Counsel, Dep't of Labor & Industry

Public Speakers:

Shari Shapiro, Calliope Communications
Bob Buddenbohn, PABCO
Frank Thompson, PBA
Russell Zerbo, Clean Air Council
Eric Lacey, Responsible Energy Code Alliance
Darren Port, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships
Marty Frawley, Bureau Veritas Inspections
Sarah Miller, PBA
Tim Palaski, PABCO


Susan Harshell
The meeting was called to order at 10:03 a.m. by Chair George Settle, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and introduction of all Council Members and attendees.
  1. Approval of Agenda: Chair Settle asked for approval of the agenda. Mr. Fegley moved to approve the agenda. Mr. Glotfelty seconded the motion. The Council approved the agenda by unanimous consent.
  2. Western Pennsylvania Public Hearing Regarding "2015 Code Change": Mr. Zerbo, advocacy coordinator for the Clean Air Council, spoke about updating Pennsylvania code energy standards to the 2015 International Code Council (ICC) revisions, while also considering the 2012 ICC revisions, to promote energy efficient buildings in the Commonwealth. Mr. Lacey, from the Responsible Energy Code Alliance, discussed promoting adoption of the most recent edition of the IECC for residential and commercial buildings to promote energy savings. He also offered written comments to the Council Members on IECC code revisions. Mr. Port, from the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, mirrored the previous comments and urged adoption of the IECC changes to the 2012 code and ASHRAE 90.1 to better serve the energy future of Pennsylvania's citizens and reduce the need for additional utilities. He indicated that his organization is available to assist in answering any inquiries or technical provisions that the Council may have.
    Mr. Buddenbohn, on behalf of PABCO, indicated that PABCO has provided its members links to the Council's website so that they may participate in the review process. Mr. Buddenbohn asked when the changes to the national electrical code would be publicly available. Ms. Shapiro mentioned that NFPA had provided those changes to Chair Settle and Mr. Fegley prior to the meeting.
    Mr. Frawley, representing Bureau Veritas Inspection, commented that he would like to see any wording added to the codes that would make code easier to understand. Also, he mentioned that he would like to see the Council or the Commonwealth put pressure on ICC, NFPA, and the accessibility people on the same cycle.
    Ms. Miller stated that the PBA will be submitting their comments in Allentown in February.
    Chair Settle asked the public if they would like to see pressure testing of houses. Mr. Frawley replied that it is adding more costs to contractors and consumers, so no. Mr. Lacey responded that this issue has come up in a lot of states with costs for pressure testing ranging from $250 to $400. He stated that it is beneficial to require pressure testing, because of determining air leakage quantity and promoting energy efficiency. Mr. Lavalle asked the public whether alternative standards would be adequate for determining integrity of a structure. Mr. Frawley indicated that he wasn't aware of alternative standards, and his concern was keeping costs down. Mr. Port replied that any of the alternative testing does not weaken the code or its environmental provisions.
    The Council and the public discussed the confusion surrounding code adoption and the Department of Labor & Industry's promulgation of regulations. The public requested an example of how the RAC would adopt a code revision that was changed in 2012 and 2015.
  3. Chair's Comments: Chair Settle opined that subcommittee members should be submitting their recommendations to him at the monthly meetings, and afterwards, the recommendations would be posted to the website for the public to view. He recommended that the subcommittees provide him with the recommendations prior to the meeting so they can be distributed to all of the Council Members.
  4. Report of Legislation Working Group: No action taken.
  5. Report of Regulation Working Group: No action taken.
  6. Old Business: No action.
  7. New Business:
    1. Subcommittee Reports
      1. ADM: Mr. Fegley indicated that the subcommittee will meet in the future to discuss the provisions.
      2. IBC-Fire Safety: Mr. LaValle stated that the group was compiling the overall list of recommendations and review of code changes, and once the list is complete, the group will coordinate another conference call to review the list.
      3. IBC-General: Mr. Fegley noted that he received some comments back from subcommittee members, but does not have any recommendations at this time.
      4. IBC Means of Egress: Nothing to report.
      5. IBC Structural: Mr. Roberts mentioned that he is receiving recommendations from group members, and he will hold another meeting to compile a report once the rest of recommendations are received.
      6. IEBC: Ms. Welsh stated that the group made its recommendations and provided them to the Chair the previous day. In its recommendations, the group voted to recommend all changes except for 904.1.3, which will be held for further discussion.
      7. IECC Commercial: Mr. McQuail said that there was preliminary review of all 215 sections and an initial response from the first 103 sections, which will be discussed at the next conference call.
      8. IECC Residential: Mr. McCosby indicated that the group had its initial conference call where it went through 27 of the 45 amendments. The group voted to recommend 26 of the amendments and held one (RE 109.13) for further consideration.
      9. IFC: No action.
      10. IFGC: No action.
      11. IMC: Chair Settle explained that his group met and is making recommendations for amendments 44-87, plus 42 (Attachment A), which will be posted to the website.
      12. IPC: No action.
      13. IRC-Building: Mr. LaValle stated that the subcommittee has addressed half of the changes and intends to present those recommendations at the next meeting.
      14. IRC-Mechanical: Mr. Musick indicated that he has the matrix of changes that he will send out to the group members.
      15. IRC-Plumbing: Mr. Fegley noted that the subcommittee has not yet met.
      16. IWUIC: Mr. Malot said that the group identified 30 code changes and expects to have a follow-up report at the next meeting.
  8. General Public Comments: Mr. Buddenbohn mentioned that the 2012 amendments completely eliminated Chapter 34 of the IEBC and wanted the Council to be aware of that change.
    Mr. Thompson asked the Council about a timetable for milestones, and requested that the Counsel make one. Mr. Thompson also opined about the need for legislative change to put the Council in a better position to adopt code changes that would be less confusing to professionals, builders, and building code officials. Lastly, Mr. Thompson discussed participation and submitting comments to the ICC during the process for the 2018 code changes.
  9. Future Meetings: The Council scheduled its next meeting for December 10, 2014 in Harrisburg and public hearing for February 11, 2015 in Allentown.
  10. Adjournment: Mr. Glotfelty moved that the Council adjourn the meeting. Mr. McCosby seconded the motion. The motion passed by unanimous consent. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:00 p.m.