What are model codes?

Model codes allow a jurisdiction to adopt a well-crafted and well-researched document that can be enforced in your community.

A code is a compilation of requirements based on a stated scope and is intended for adoption as primary law by a governmental unit to address an area of regulatory focus: in the water conservation the plumbing industry is directly addressed.

In the development of a code, reliance and dependence can be placed on a standard to address a specialized aspect of the construction industry or practice. The benefit of being ANSI-accredited is that the process involves all users of the code in all industry sectors — the process is open to everyone. Without standards accredited to the ANSI process and their vital work, codes would be so mired in past practices, specifications and administrative review as to stymie innovation and development with the plumbing and mechanical industry. Codes have their own uniquely effective and mutually interactive roles in attaining public health and safety.

Public and National Participation Benefits:
True consensus based, ANSI-accredited process seeks to ensure that there is an opportunity for all those who are interested in and affected by codes or standards to participate in their development and ensures that an opportunity exists for the voices of all stakeholders to be heard.
Market Recognition:
The ANSI designation indicates that a code or standard reflects current technology, is responsive to market demand and contributes to the effective and efficient operation of commerce within a free market environment.
Tool for Government:
The reliance on voluntary consensus codes and standards is intended to help make the government operate more efficiently, reduce regulatory compliance and procurement costs, avoid the duplication of effort caused by having separate private sector and government-unique solutions, enable the government to take advantage of private sector technology and expertise in establishing standards that serve national needs, and contribute to economic prosperity and growth.

Your codes should make a positive difference in your constituents’ lives. Codes and formal “rules” provide the background for civilized living. The plumbing and mechanical codes, and the men and women involved in enforcing them, are dedicated to protecting the public’s health and safety. These professionals spend years learning and applying the codes uniformly in our communities and constructing safe and responsible homes, workplaces and educational structures for present and future generations. We can all share this philosophy: We can accomplish greater things together than we can individually.

Importance of Standards, Public and National Benefit
Standards are more essential today than at any time in our nation’s history. Voluntary consensus standards are at the foundation of the U.S. economy. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is based on the following set of cardinal principles for standards development:
Openness – The ANSI process is fair and open. Any materially affected and interested party shall have the ability to participate.
Balance – Participants should represent diverse interests and categories, and no single group should have dominance in standards development.
Due Process – All objections shall have an attempt made towards their resolution. Interests who believe they have been treated unfairly have a right to appeal.
Consensus – Agreements are reached when more than a majority, but not necessarily all, of the participants concur on a proposed solution.

The purpose of the code development process is to ensure the continued development in accordance with the ANSI process and maintenance of the Uniform Codes with the following goals in the forefront:
• Effectiveness in preserving the public health, safety and welfare;
• The timely evaluation and recognition of technological developments pertaining to construction regulations;
• Promote participation from various stakeholders in an environment that is equitable, accessible and responsive to promote an open consensus development process.

See http://publicca.ansi.org website for further information from the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due Process Requirements for American National Standards.

In support of these publications, IAPMO works with plumbing and mechanical engineers, governmental jurisdictions, designers, labor force and manufacturers to produce product standards, technical manuals, personnel certification, educational programs and additional resource publications to meet the ever-evolving demands of the industry, as well as the health and safety needs of the public.

The Uniform Codes are the most widely recognized code of practice in the world used by our industry and the world’s only plumbing and mechanical codes designated as American National Standards by ANSI (American National Standards Institute).

Code Development Process
Consensus model code agencies encourages your participation as all codes and standards are revised and updated every three years. Industry specialists bring the technical expertise, professional standing, commitment to public safety and the ability to bring to the table the point of view of plumbing and mechanical installers, engineers and designers. Model code agency’s’ board of directors appoints a diverse technical committee that serve as the primary consensus bodies responsible for developing and revising codes and referenced standards. By incorporating plumbing engineers’ knowledge, experience in the code development process, and the code adoption process, engineers have the ability to ensure that model plumbing codes do not impose restrictive practices and that new technologies are evaluated, recognized and utilized. All concerned parties are encouraged to become involved in the development of the Uniform Codes. The key benefits this provides includes all interested parties offer their knowledge and experience to the process and provides checks and balances that help ensure that innovations in plumbing and mechanical systems are included in the Codes.

Conservation/Efficiency Audience
Enhanced Code Writing Audience
Code Advocacy/AHJ Audience
Fiscal Responsibility Audience
Public Health Audience