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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      June 20, 2007

Release No. M-62-07

 

 

 

REVAMPED BUILDING CODE SIGNED INTO LAW

 

Local architects, engineers, contractors, realtors, labor officials, and other construction industry representatives are expected to join Mayor Mufi Hannemann today when he signs into law Bill 26, C.D. 2., adopting a revamped City building code.

 

The measure adopts the 2003 editions of the International Building Code and International Residential Code, with local amendments.  Hannemann’s approval concludes an effort begun four years ago to update Honolulu’s building code.

 

            The codes recognize current architectural and structural design standards, construction materials, and technology changes that have been made during the 10 years since the last update to Honolulu’s building code.  The code is administered by the City’s Department of Planning and Permitting.

 

            In signing the measure, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said, “This bill represents a partnership between the City and the many individuals and organizations that provided invaluable support and advocacy in the preparation of the building code update.  They included members of the American Institute of Architects, Structural Engineers Association, Building Owners and Managers Association, Building Industry Association, National Industrial and Office Properties, General Contractors Association, Honolulu Board of Realtors, Hawaii Bankers Association, Coalition of Hawaii Engineering and Architectural Professionals, and countless others.

 

            “We’re very grateful for this grassroots leadership and involvement on the part of the construction and real estate industries.”

 

            Many of Oahu’s top construction professionals offered testimony during the City Council’s hearings on the measure in March.

 

            Peter Vincent, president of the American Institute of Architects’ Honolulu Chapter, said at the time, the “AIA Honolulu Chapter appreciates the working relationship with DPP [Department of Planning and Permitting] … and HFD [Honolulu Fire Department] and wants to recognize the hard work that Tim Hiu, acting building division chief, and his staff … and supports the adoption of the … code.”

 

            His support was echoed by Lester Fukuda of the Coalition of Hawaii Engineering and Architectural Professionals, who said, “A uniform and comprehensive building code for the City and County of Honolulu and state is critical.”

 

            Rodney Shinkawa, representing the Hawaii Bankers Association, commented, “The present Honolulu building code is about 10 years old and needs to be updated to the current standards which have been adopted by most states and/or municipalities in the United States.”

 

            Gary Okamoto of Wilson Okamoto Engineers and Planners, said, “We feel that adoption of the current building code would greatly benefit the City and County of Honolulu…. There is an update in building codes nationwide and adoption … would provide Honolulu with a building code that is commensurate with those that are in use throughout the rest of the nation.”

 

            Some of the changes in the new code include:

 

·       permitting much larger floor spaces than were allowed under the old code, thereby reducing construction costs;

 

·       updating seismic and wind requirements;

 

·       adopting simpler building codes for single-family or duplex units;

 

·       eliminating a requirement for smoke control systems in high-rises; and

 

·       recognizing the introduction of new construction materials called “metal composite materials,” and other new construction materials and types.

 

            The City and County of Honolulu is the first county in Hawaii to adopt the new building codes.  However, Hawaii is the last state in the Union to adopt the code on a statewide or county level.

 

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Contact:

Timothy Hiu, Acting Building Division Chief, 768-8120

Henry Eng, Planning Director, 768-8000

 

Monday, June 25, 2007

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