FALLS CHURCH, Va. - The International Code Council (ICC) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) will hold a high-level, face-to-face meeting on Nov. 19 to proceed with discussions concerning a potential joint venture to update the Uniform Plumbing Code™, the Uniform Mechanical Code™, the International Plumbing Code®, the International Mechanical Code®, and to produce a joint code. The two groups signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Sept. 28.

The MOU describes both parties' intentions regarding a joint venture to develop joint plumbing and mechanical codes.

In developing such a system, the parties agreed to many principles. One such agreement is that the new system would utilize the Governmental Consensus process to create and maintain the codes that result from the proposed joint venture. Specific details of the process must be agreed upon by both organizations. Another is that the plumbing and mechanical members of the code development committees, which would create and maintain the codes that result from the joint venture, would all be qualified individuals from the plumbing and mechanical industry with expertise in their respective fields.

IAPMO and ICC also agreed to hold joint code development hearings to develop and maintain any codes that result from the joint venture. The codes produced by the joint venture would reference applicable codes and standards, in order to maintain a comprehensive and coordinated set of codes.

Among other principles the parties agreed to is to work cooperatively and in good faith to reach out to affected stakeholders, in a manner to be agreed upon by the parties, as discussions proceed.

"This is another positive step forward to explore this important opportunity with IAPMO," newly elected ICC president Henry Green said. "One unified code is a win-win situation for all involved, especially public safety."

IAPMO president Christopher Salazar appeared equally optimistic when he said, "IAPMO and the ICC have progressed to a point which enables both organizations to consider what had once been thought impossible, that is, to jointly develop one Plumbing Code and one Mechanical Code for the entire United States. I'm very optimistic about our chances to successfully conclude these discussions."

Publication date: 11/07/2005