A recent article in Retrofit online magazine shines the spotlight on early involvement of the building department and code officials in the economic development process. A recent white paper produced by the National Council on Building Codes and Standards at the National Institute for Building Sciences challenges that model and looks at shifting the paradigm. The white paper offers suggestions, addresses potential challenges and includes a draft agenda for communities to reference when setting up initiation meetings with teams beginning new projects.
The article states, “Many communities are adopting customer-service focused models to engage with their citizens. The code department can and should serve as an example of a customer-centered municipal function, while maintaining its mission of assuring community safety. The code department’s charge of ensuring health, safety and welfare is synonymous with community growth, development and prosperity”.
The full article and link to the white paper can be found here.
The Division of Building and Fire Regulation (BFR) welcomes three new members to the team:
Holly Squares recently joined BFR as the new Administrative Assistant. Holly will provide administrative support to the Deputy Director and other BFR staff and will be the primary contact for amusement device inspection stickers. Prior to joining DHCD, Holly was involved in Reporting and Data Analysis for Claims Administration at the firm of BrownGreer, PLC and brings decades of customer service expertise. Holly can be reached at (804) 371-7150 or email@example.com.
Terry Steen recently joined the State Building Codes Office (SBCO) as a Senior Construction Inspector II and will be involved in the code development process as well as the Manufactured Housing program. Terry previously worked as an Electrical Reviewer with the Department of General Services in the Bureau of Capital Outlay Management (BCOM). He is an Electrical Engineer and holds a Professional Engineer (PE) license with over 6 years of experience in code enforcement. Terry can be reached at (804) 371-7182 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Casey Littlefield recently joined the SBCO as a Senior Construction Inspector II and will be involved in the code development process as well as the Industrialized Building program. Prior to joining DHCD, he was a Senior Plan Reviewer and Chief Electrical Inspector for Hanover County with 10 years of experience in code enforcement, plan review and inspections. He is a Master Electrician and has his Master Code Professional (MCP) designation through ICC. He is also a lead instructor for the Jack Proctor Virginia Building Code Academy (JPVBCA). Casey can be reached at (804) 371-7175 or email@example.com.
The Jack A. Proctor Virginia Building Code Academy (VBCA) has recently concluded its 2017 Train the Trainer program and we want to share our excitement in growing the VBCA instructor team.
Twelve individuals from various localities and affiliations were selected to participate based on identified subject needs as well as recommendations from subject matter experts or code officials. The students completed five days of intense classroom training, followed by organized practice sessions and a final presentation in front of a panel of code and training experts. Each student demonstrated tremendous dedication through many volunteered hours of instruction, practice, and evaluation.
Each new graduating instructor brings a unique style and personality to their facilitation, and we look forward to including them on instructional teams in upcoming courses. You will start to see our new instructors in action beginning early in 2018.
VBCA Instructor Graduates from L to R: Anthony McMahan-Fairfax, Dustin McLehaney-Chesterfield, Allen Turner-James City, Catherine Lunsford-Fairfax, Elrdige Reynard-Newport News, Scott Verbel-Fairfax, RG Fuller-Roanoke County, Dave Settle-International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 10, Neil Holland-City of Roanoke, Dennis Hart-Fairfax, Paula Johnson-Prince William County and Charlie Black-Prince William County
Please join us in congratulating these outstanding code officials as they join the JPVBCA instructional or facilitation teams!
The JPVBCA schedule of classes is posted, and open for registration. Visit the On-Line Registration System for more information.
The 88th annual Virginia Building and Code Officials Association conference was held on October 14-17th in Virginia Beach with an attendance of 237, the largest conference in several years. The education program offered a variety of enriching and informative sessions on topics ranging from leadership development to residential elevator inspection as well as the added bonus of a bus trip arranged for members to the Board of Housing meeting in Richmond VA on Monday to participate in and watch the final approval of the 2015 Virginia Codes. Other educational highlights included a presentation by the host of the popular television show Hoarders, Matt Paxton, who presented on “understanding hoarding”.
At the General Membership meeting on Monday, October 16, new officers were elected for the upcoming year. Those elected were: Gregg Fields from the city of Alexandria serving as the new president, Pete Mensinger also from Alexandria, moved to first vice president with Jimmy Moss from Grayson County as the second vice president. Joining the board this year as the Sargent of Arms is Matt Westheimer from the city of Williamsburg. The officers were sworn in at Monday evening’s banquet by ICC Board member and DHCD Deputy Director Cindy Davis. During the installation of officers, immediate Past President, David Beahm was presented with a limited edition ICC medallion in recognition of his service as President of VBCOA.
From L to R: David Beahm, Matt Westheimer, Jimmy Moss, Pete Mensinger and Gregg Fields
The keynote speaker for the banquet was Mr. Andy Mueck, Vice President of Operations for the National Industries for the Blind (NIB). Prior to his position at NIB Mr. Mueck served in a number of leadership roles with experience in both strategic and operational levels for both the Defense Department and corporate environments. Of note is that Mr. Mueck was a childhood friend of incoming President Gregg Fields and his keynote speech was organized as a special surprise for him!
The banquet Monday evening culminated with a number of VBCOA members being recognized for their contributions to the industry or the organization.
- Jack A Proctor Meritorious Service Award – was awarded to Richard Bartell, former Building Official from Hanover County
- Public Service Award – was awarded to former VBCOA Executive Director Mary Jo Fields;
- Citizen’s Award – was awarded to Matt Paxton, entrepreneur, owner of Legacy Navigators, Inc and host of Hoarders
- President’s Award – was awarded to Mike Eutsey from Hanover County.
Congratulations to the new officers, the award recipients and to VBCOA for a successful conference!
The Jack A. Proctor Virginia Building Code Academy (VBCA) just released it’s 2018 training schedule. All classes are posted and open for registration on the VBCA On-Line Registration System. To meet the demand the VBCA has increased the Core offerings from four to six times a year. Core will run once every eight to 10 weeks with classes offered twice in each semester location. In addition the VBCA is pleased to announce its newest certification class, Elevator Inspection, to the permanent schedule. This three-day class is specific to those seeking certification as an elevator inspector however is open to all looking to increase their knowledge of this area. For more information on this or any other class please contact the VBCA office at VBCA@dhcd.virginia.gov or visit the On-Line Registration System at https://dmz1.dhcd.virginia.gov/BFR/Main/LogOn.aspx
PRONTO enables candidates to take tests securely any time of day
The International Code Council (ICC) recently unveiled a new cloud-based testing system, Proctored Remote Online Testing Option (PRONTO), which enables candidates to take ICC certification exams at their convenience on their home or office computer.
In the past, test takers had to travel to approved locations for certification exams. The new cloud-based system allows users to take proctored ICC certification exams on their own computer at home, in an office or at another secure location of their choice. This system will supplement the brick and mortar computer-based exam sites and paper-and-pencil testing that were the only options previously available.
PRONTO also allows users to immediately see their exam results. ICC currently has 23 exams available online with plans for additional offerings in the future. Click here to learn more about PRONTO.
We want to thank everyone who participated in our contest and helped to make it a success.
And special congratulations to the winners of the Building Safety Month Campaign Contest!
The joint campaign of Carroll County, Grayson County, the City of Galax, and the Town of Hillsville, was selected as winners in the division of Best Campaign – Small Locality! The jurisdictions combined efforts to deliver a variety of programs in the region, including a kickoff event at a local Lowe’s store attended by over 375 people. State Delegate Israel O’Quinn read a joint proclamation of Building Safety Month; VBCOA Vice President Pete Mensinger awarded certificates of achievement to graduates of the ICC High School Technical Training Program, and a variety of organizations provided presentations and demonstrations throughout the day.
The City of Alexandria’s campaign was selected as the winner of the Large Locality prize! The City’s campaign featured community outreach at local businesses, and partnerships with a variety of sponsors and organizations. The kickoff event was attended by over 250 people, and featured training, demonstrations, door prizes and giveaways.
Congratulations again to all of the winners, who will receive catered lunch for the office, and a full day of training for up to 40 staff.