Earlier this year, the UCC Review and Advisory Council (“RAC”) in Pennsylvania declined to adopt the proposed revisions set out in the 2012 ICC Code.
The RAC’s decision reflects the opinion voiced by many contractors, who generally contended that the revisions to the Code should be rejected since the changes would cause an increase in costs and burdens on both contractors and consumers. For example, in Zone 4, which covers most of the greater Philadelphia area, the 2012 revisions would have increased the minimum R-value for walls that are part of the building envelope to R-20 from R-13. It was argued that this would significantly increase costs for the purchase of insulation and require 2×6 framing or insulating sheathing that further increased cost. Similarly, the 2012 revisions proposed an increase to R-49 for open attic roof insulation from the current level of R-38. The money saved in lowering the energy bills, it is said, would take an inordinate amount of time to be recouped when weighed against the increased costs of construction.
Currently, the UCC is revised triennially. Practically, this means that the burdens and expenses on contractors and the consumers can increase every three years. Yet the constant change in regulation may slow in the near future. At that same meeting, the RAC voted to recommend that Pennsylvania’s General Assembly adopt legislation that would extend the code adoption cycle from a three year to six year cycle.
The 2009 ICC Code remains in effect.