2017 Building Safety Month
Each year, Washington County celebrates May as National Building Safety Month. This monthlong public awareness campaign includes a variety of activities and materials to highlight the weekly themes.
2017 Code Officials—Partners in Community Safety and Economic Growth.All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse. Model building codes are society's best way of protecting homes, offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, stores and entertainment venues. Code officials workday in and day out to keep the public safe. Building Safety Month is a monthlong celebration of all aspects of building safety that helps families, employers and leaders understand and appreciate the best practices that keep the places where we live, work and play, safe.
National Building Safety Month Weekly Themes
WEEK ONE // May 1-7, 2017
Mentoring the Next Generation of Building Professionals
The construction industry is experiencing a mass retirement of skilled professionals; one study indicates that over the next 15 years the industry will experience a loss of 80 percent of the existing skilled workforce. Trained professionals are needed in the building industry to prevent a major job shortage in the workforce. In addition to learning about construction, engineering and architecture, the future workforce needs to become knowledgeable about the building codes to ensure the very best, resilient buildings. The International Code Council (ICC) and industry partners are providing training and mentoring including the High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP) to provide schools with a framework to help students understand how codes and regulations are used in the design and construction.
Resources for mentoring the next generation of building professionals:
- How to get your school involved in the High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP)
- HSTTP Tool Kit
- ICC High School Technical Training Program Brochure
- Portland Community College Building Inspection Technology Program
- Chemeketa Community College Building Inspection Program
- Careers in Code Enforcement Brochure
According to a survey conducted by AARP, 89 percent of the 50-and-older population like their current homes and intend to remain in them for as long as possible. But aging in place is not just about the home. The aging of the population will increase the demand for livable communities with easy access to health care, entertainment and shopping with accessible in interior environments. Architects, custom homebuilders and remodelers are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of aging-in-place clients, provided they fully understand the design solutions and products that make living in a home easier.
Resources about building solutions for all ages:
- National Association of Home Builders Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists
- American Society of Interior Designers Design for Aging Council
- Design Tips for Baby Boomers Flyer
- American Institute of Architects Design for Aging Knowledge Community
- Ready.gov: Seniors
- Fire Safety Outreach Materials for Older Adults
The power of these natural disasters can be overwhelming. While you can't necessarily stop natural disasters from happening, there are steps you can take to increase your home's chance of survival. Mitigation efforts such as building code adoption and enforcement is one of the strongest strategies jurisdictions can take to protect a community against the effects of natural hazards. Mitigation increases occupant health and safety during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services, and supports more rapid recovery from disasters. More importantly, building codes provide you, your family and your community protection in the event of a natural disaster.
Resources for manage the damage - preparing for natural disasters:
- 10 Tips for Disaster Safety & Mitigation Flyer
- FEMA Building Codes Toolkit for Homeowners
- Homebuilders' Guide to Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction
- Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage — A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition
Science and technology are leading the way for designing and constructing safe, efficient and resilient homes and buildings. Up to date building safety codes and standards enable the technology to be incorporated into the buildings while ensuring safety for lives, properties and investments. The building codes include research from experts that help ensure every phase of the construction process is done correctly. In addition to helping make your home safe, the building codes can also help make your home more energy efficient, use less water and conserve resources. It’s a smart investment to build and remodel your home to the latest codes.
Resources for investing in technology for safety, energy and water efficiency
- Energy Code Resources from ICC
- 2015 WEP Water Efficiency Provisions of the 2015 International Green Construction Code®
- CodeNotes: Solar Water Heating Systems, Based on the 2015 International Solar Energy Provisions™ (PDF Download)