Columbia to announce changes to city building codes

2 years 10 months 3 weeks ago Monday, August 22 2016 Aug 22, 2016 Monday, August 22, 2016 8:34:00 PM CDT August 22, 2016 in News
By: Hannah Husmann, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - A meeting is being held Tuesday night to announce Columbia's changing building codes. 

The Building and Site Development Division of the Community Development Department will start the meeting at 6 p.m. and has strongly encouraged the construction community's attendance.

"I think the biggest changes you're going to see revolve around energy codes, storm shelters and then temporary stage canopies. Those are the big ones," Building Regulations Supervisor John Simon said. 

The International Code Council reviews these codes in three year cycles and these changes are a result of the 2015 review. The updates were finalized last May and will go into effect for any building submitted after Oct. 1, 2016. 

Simon cited the Joplin tornado as a big reason for the International Code Council's update to add storm shelters to some buildings.

"Historically, the building codes have always had specifications for how storm shelters were designed, but what's new in 2015 is they're mandated now for certain types of facilities," Simon said. 

Those facilities include all critical emergency operations buildings, 911 centers, fire rescue centers and schools. 

Another big change will be more regulations to temporary stage canopies. After seven people died at the Indiana State Fair stage collapse in 2011, the International Code Council felt it necessary to make this change as well.

"It's now going to be mandated by the code that if you have a temporary stage canopy in excess of 400 square feet, they've always had a professional design but we're going to require more special inspections, more stringent enforcement of the requirements for those as well," Simon said. 

According to Simon, there are more code updates but many are reformatting and clarification changes.

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