Louisiana Passes Bill Mandating Statewide Building Code

On November 22, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed Senate Bill 44, mandating a statewide building code. A signing ceremony is planned for December 2, 2005.

Nanette Lockwood, legislative affairs manager for Solutia Inc., was instrumental in the culmination of the bill's passing.

"We have been working diligently to get statewide structural codes adopted in Louisiana and it has paid off," said Lockwood. "Louisiana has now adopted legislation that will mandate immediate wind- and impact-resistant glazing systems for new or damaged homes and businesses."

As part of SB 44, emergency provisions are enforced for flood and wind within the next 30 to 90 days as defined in the 2003 IRC for the following parishes, most of which are wind-borne debris regions: Calcasieu, Cameron, Vermillion, Iberia, St. Tammany, Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Terrebonne and Lafourche. The emergency provisions will be in effect until the statewide code is implemented; this is due by January 1, 2007.

In addition, the bill requires that the International Building Code, International Residential Code (IRC) and the International Existing Building Code be adopted.

"Although the Council can modify the adopted codes, they must do so after a finding on the record that the modification provides a reasonable degree of public health, safety and welfare," said Lockwood. "This is the same language that South Carolina has, which is also the strictest in the nation for limiting weakening amendments."

The energy provisions of the IRC have also been included, but do not take effect until the emergency provisions are removed.

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