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State Construction Code Reform Headed to Senate

December 5, 2011

Legislation to allow the state flexibility in the time frame under which it must update its construction codes passed the House this week. Michigan is currently obligated by law to update its code not less than once every three years. Under the bill, that time frame would be increased to not less than every six years or more than once every three years.

The measure is designed to alleviate some of the cost burden imposed on employers and the various units of government. The change is expected to help build consistency and continuity for small businesses in the construction trades who would otherwise have to learn new codes everything three years. Updates to the Code necessitate purchasing a new code book and requires substantial time to review the new changes. Estimates peg the cost savings at $25 million. Often times the updated codes do not contain substantive changes from the previous versions. Additionally, the bill will grant some flexibility in determining the appropriateness of an update and if the changes contained are substantial enough initiate the code revision process. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

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