WABO Spring Update Meeting 
Zoom Conferencing

April 23, 2020




Greetings, my fellow WABOnians.  Shy of Bill Gates and a select few, who could have projected the predicament that we now find ourselves fully immersed?  Nevertheless, we are where we are.  The banner construction year that ended but months back already seems like an eon ago.  I truly wish that you, personally, have been spared the grief for a lost loved one or close colleague. My sincere condolences to those who have not been so lucky.  Be assured, your collective individual effort to Stay Home and Stay Safe has helped flatten the disease pandemic curve.  That being said, none of us will avoid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 response.

Let me assure you that your Association has been quite active in the pursuit of impact mitigation and are doing our part to support the program.  Tara and her WABO Staff have been working at home for the most part.  Many thanks to those of you who participated in our first ever Virtual Quarterly Meeting.  Over 70 registered for this ZOOM event, the bulk of which participated successfully.  I apologize for any of you that may have experienced technical difficulties in trying to join the session.  Unfortunately, we found it necessary to employ security measures to ensure that the session was not hacked or bombed.  All in all, it worked out quite well.

On your behalf, our Executive Board successfully teamed up with Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) leadership, at their request, to help convince the Governor to delay the effective date of the 2018 State Building Code from the first of July to November.  This will give WABO and the State Building Code Council more time to coordinate completion of the 2018 Washington Custom Codes with ICC.  We are very grateful for help from Lee Kranz and City of Bellevue staff in support of this effort.  Under our agreement with ICC, WABO will receive a cut of the proceeds for the sale of these documents and digital offerings.  The City of Bellevue is also pursuing custom codes to include their local amendments.   Given our membership previously approved Legislative Priorities, one of which states that we support keeping the family of codes intact, we chose not to support a related Master Builders Association proposal to further delay implementation of the Energy Code separately.  We also joined with other stakeholders to help the Governor’s Office hammer out what became the Phase 1 restart of Low Risk construction activity Proclamation amendment that he subsequently signed on Friday, April 24th.

With the Governor's Safe Start Phased In approach to reopening the economy we will not be able to offer the in-person training at this year’s Annual Education Institute (AEI), which has already been postponed to June 15-19, 2020, at the Lynnwood Convention Center.  The WABO office is finalizing the details and the training will still take place June 15-19, 2020 in a completely virtual format.  Details will be sent to all registered attendees and members once they are finalized.  Stacy Criswell, Outreach Committee Chair, is also spearheading WABO’s effort to collect and share information on how jurisdictions are handling and interpreting ongoing pandemic guidance from Olympia.

I urge all of you to consult the current Standing Committee Reports published on the webpage for useful details on all our programs, since I have only “scratched the surface” in this report.  We also continue to seek volunteer Emergency Management Coordinators to cover the State, if you are interested in making a difference when the time comes.  WABO continues to be fiscally strong and dedicated to supporting the needs of our membership.  Please do not hesitate to take advantage of the full range services we provide.

What a year this has been thus far…    Stay Safe    C.  Ray

Standing Committee Updates

Technical Code Development Committee - Chair Micah Chappell, MBA, CBO

Micah announced that Technical Code Development (TCD) schedule is still posted on the WABO website and all meetings will be virtual until further notice.  ICC’s 2021/2022 code development schedule is available and  Group A changes need to be submitted by January 11, 2021.  Micah reported the State Building Code Council (SBCC) schedule should be aligning to ICC’s Group A and Group B codes.  Members can view Washington State changes by going to WAC 51-50, you can see what is currently adopted and what changes are coming. 

Education CommitteeChair Todd Blevins, CBO

Todd Blevins stated the 2020 Annual Education Institute was postponed to June 15-19, 2020.  The plan is still to hold the event in-person with a virtual option for members that have travel restrictions still in place.  If the governor extends the ban on public gatherings, the event will be converted to an entirely virtual platform.

Government Relations - Chair Tim Woodard

Tim  provided a 2020 legislative session update:

  • Bills WABO opposed to change the composition of the State Building Code Council failed.
  • Legislation WABO opposed related to religious organizations housing the homeless has passed (ESHB 1754). The bill contains a grandfather clause for jurisdictions with local ordinances governing this type of activity if the ordinances were adopted prior to the implementation date of the new law in June.
  • Legislation to allow adult family homes to increase capacity to eight beds passed.
  • A bill WABO supported to create a commercial property clean energy and resiliency program for financing energy efficiency retrofits and new construction (E2SHB 2405) has passed.  Due to COVID-19 budget cuts the Governor has defunded the financing for this program.
  • Legislation WABO opposed to delay implementation of the energy code failed.
  • SB 6170 Concerning plumbing requires a separate permit for plumbing and requires jurisdictions to provide written notice to the permit applicant of plumbing contractor license laws and the potential risk and liability to the homeowner for using an unlicensed plumbing contractor.

Outreach Services - Chair Stacy Criswell, CBO, ACO

Stacy  reminded everyone to share their already developed resources and they can be posted  on the WABO website.  Stacy announced the requested English to Spanish translations are complete and can be found on the resources page. If members have a beneficial resource that they are interested in sharing, please e-mail to [email protected].

Certification & Registration - Chair Brian Smith, CBO, ACO

Brian reported that July 1, 2019 Washington State retroactively added mass timber to the 2015 codes.  The SIRP Board established a Mass Timber subcommittee to develop a special inspection category.  The subcommittee has developed three written exams and will recommend the category be added as an endorsement to the existing lateral wood category.  The subcommittee is finalizing the oral interview questions and defining periodic special inspection for mass timber.  The SIRP Advisory board hopes to present their recommendation to the C & R committee at the Annual Business meeting for approval by the membership.

Accreditation Chair Andy Higgins, MCP, CBO, ACO

Andy  reported the 3rd quarter of the 1st year of the 2nd cohort is currently in session.  COAP instructors have been able to update, enhance and improve the course curriculum.  The instructors will be working on updating the Building Inspector/Plans Examiner courses and coordinating to review for overlap and expansion opportunities.  Andy announced the COAP committee wants to create a robust backup of instructors and will be starting an outreach effort to recruit. Call for instructors will be requested in the next WABO newsletter.  James Tumelson reported the instructors are working hard to put together a clear and concise program.  Having the training completely virtual is great resiliency for the program.

Emergency Management - Chair Ray Cockerham, CBO

Ray announced the WAsafe steering committee is working on the operations manual, and very close to issuing WAsafe credentials. Ray announced Quyen Thai, from the City of Tacoma, has volunteered to be the alternate for the State Emergency Management Council. Ray asked for volunteers to serve as coordinators who would need to complete a ½ day training at Camp Murray and FEMA ICS 230.

Finance Committee Chair Angela Haupt, CBO

Angela provided the membership with an overview of WABO’s 2019/2020 third quarter financials.