IBC Building Code Forum Draws Opposition From Some Business Interests

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Guam – Senator Tom Ada held the first public forum Wednesday night on the implementation of the International Building Code.

A previous measure adopted the code in its entirety. But that caused a storm of controversy, because it included provisions inappropriate for the island.

Now, under a new law, input is being gathered from the affected businesses and GovGuam agencies before the new regulations go into effect.

With the military buildup looming, adoption of the a new building code is considered crucial given the outdated regulations now governing construction on island. 

Public Works Chairman Tom Ada has no doubt the International Building Code [IBC] is needed. But Ada concedes refinements are necessary that take into consideration local conditions and needs. That’s why his measure calling for a gradually implementation, following the public forum which was mandated by the bill he sponsored and is now Public Law 159.

But even with the adjustments, some remain opposed to changes because of the added costs it will impose on Guam businesses.

But if a new building code must be adopted,  Developer Al Ysrael argues that existing buildings should be grandfathered in. And he thinks the new Code should be enforced on GovGuam buildings first, to see whether it is really effective.

By law,  the Guam Fire Department and the Department of Public Works must submit their recommended changes to the IBC by mid-September.

The input from Wednesday night’s forum, along with the input from GFD and DPW, will all be taken into consideration in revising IBC. Then the Legislature must approve the new code, before the new code takes effect on October 1st.