Ohio to simplify state building codes for 2024

The Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS) recently adopted the 2024 Ohio Building (OBC), Mechanical (OMC), and Plumbing Codes (OPC) rules. State leaders announced this will make it easier for businesses to comply with the various codes.

These changes are important for members of the building trades, including the members of Sheet Metal Workers 24 and their signatory contractors.

The building code changes included the removal of repetitive and unnecessary language and decreased the number of words in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) by over 610,000 words. 

“As businesses continue to thrive and grow in Ohio, the updated building codes come at a perfect time,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “The Board of Building Standards is making it easier for businesses by not only removing unnecessary and duplicative language but also by including new technologies and materials used in construction today.”

In Ohio, the national code standards are copied word for word in the OAC instead of referencing national requirements. Due to this, Ohio’s building, mechanical and plumbing codes are longer than any of Ohio’s neighboring states. 

OAC sections are being reduced by approximately 90 percent by rewriting the state codes to identify the differences between Ohio codes and their equivalent national standard. This will make it easier for businesses to identify Ohio-specific requirements. 

To ensure that Ohio businesses have the opportunity to share their feedback, these changes have been enacted for the Ohio Building Code, the Ohio Mechanical Code and the Ohio Plumbing Code through the ordinary rule process. 

The new building code rules have 90 percent fewer words, the new mechanical code rules have 85 percent fewer words and the new plumbing code rules have 75 percent fewer words. 

These building codes are in place to protect the public’s safety and welfare in all aspects of building, design, and construction.

Highly skilled SMW 24 members and their signatory contractors will familiarize themselves with the new codes during apprenticeship and journeyman upgrade training. 

A more streamlined state building code will help projects run more efficiently, which creates opportunities for contractors to pursue more work and create more manhours for Local 24 members. 

By Nov. 1, the 2024 Ohio Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Existing Building Codes will be available on the ICC’s Ohio eCode Bookshelf. 

The newly adopted codes will go into effect on March 1, 2024.

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