WABO Spring Quarterly Meeting 
Enzian Inn, Leavenworth, WA
April 21-22, 2022





It was really good to be back in person for our recent Spring Business Meeting at the Enzian Inn in Leavenworth, since it has been a long three years since we were there last. There was great attendance and another huge first timer turn-out of over twenty people, who were provided a big welcome. Our guest reports were one of the best I’ve encountered in a long time, with a lot of good information shared by different National, State, and regional entities. Of course, the Wednesday night meet and greet, the Thursday night social and the putt-putt golf competition were highlights outside of our normal business meeting. As I mentioned in my report in Leavenworth, starting next year our Annual Business Meeting will be held in the Spring instead of Summer. This will allow for more people to attend the ABM than they normally would be able to during the busy summer months.

Speaking of the ABM, please be sure to mark your calendars and plan to attend our Annual Business Meeting that is set to be held July 28-29th, at the Kitsap Conference Center in Bremerton.  This is the year that the Officer’s two-year term will end, which means that there will be an opening for an Officer position on the Board. As is customary, we will hold elections for Officers and Committee Chairs, so please consider running for a Committee Chair or Officer position.  Being active on the Board provides you an opportunity to get more involved while providing your passion and knowledge with the rest of the membership. It is also a great learning opportunity as you help guide our great organization’s mission.

In addition to elections, we will have our Awards ceremony. Nominations are needed for the Jurisdictional Outreach, Outstanding Achievement, Code Official of the Year and Associate of the Year awards. So, please be sure to fill out the nomination form which can be found on our website.

Since this is my last report for this newsletter as your President, I cannot express enough my extreme gratitude for our active members and the value that each of you have in sustaining WABO’s mission. To the Executive Board and the Officers for the hard work that they do in leading the way, and to Jenkins Management Solutions for constantly being the rudder that steers us all in the right direction.  See you in Bremerton!

 WABO Board displays the gubernatorial Building Safety Month 2022 Proclamation   

Committee Reports

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

Technical Code Development Committee (TCD) discussed our participation and significant success rate of Code change proposals from attending the ICC Public Comment Hearings in Rochester, NY. We had great attendance and look forward to further success in Group B over the next year. 

TCD also discussed the SBCC Group 1 voting for moving forward with proposed changes for 2021. TCD in coordination with the Energy Code Task Force, introduced an Energy Code plan review and inspection checklists. The intention of the checklists is to provide some guidance on where to focus the time you spend on those energy code related activities, to get the most out of that time. TCD provided some discussion on Group 2 State proposals and the need for Technical Advisory Group members to discuss proposed Code changes. Lastly TCD went over some of the proposed changes to the WUIC that were developed by the combined WABO/WASFM workgroup. 

As always, we encourage WABO members to get involved with TCD to provide continued improvement to our State and National Codes. 

C & R Committee - Chair Brian Smith, CBO, ACO

During the C & R committee meeting at the Spring Quarterly Business meeting in Leavenworth, Government Relations Chair Tim Woodard and Outreach Chair Stacy Criswell joined in on the conversation to discuss feedback they had received during the most recent legislative session. They provided feedback and encouragement for the C & R committee to create an energy code plan review certification based on the Washington State Residential and Commercial Energy codes. During the C & R Meeting, a subcommittee of volunteers were selected to start the conversation of flushing out what this new certification will entail.  WABO’s Executive Director, Tara Jenkins, has already put together a rough Scope of Work document that is being reviewed by the Residential WSU Energy Code folks and Commercial Evergreen Technology Consulting (ETC). The goal of involving both WSU and ETC along with representation of code officials and the builders is to help put together the most well-rounded energy code plan review certification that will meet the needs of everyone involved in the ever-growing challenge of enforcement and application of the new energy codes.  During the committee meeting enough support was provided to take it to the overall membership in which support was also provided to explore creating this new WABO certification.  At this time work is proceeding forward and we’re hoping to get a subcommittee meeting lined up and the conversation started before the next Quarterly Business meeting this summer.

Education CommitteeChair Todd Blevins, CBO

Our committee met during the  spring business meeting and was well attended. We discussed the Annual Education Institute (AEI) completed in March and declared it a success, due in great part to the WABO’s Executive director, Tara Jenkins and staff. We had a great line up of instructors and was excited to be in person again. For the most part, instructors received high ratings as did the venue. The “hands on” classes received the best ratings, making the Education committee’s goal, to try to include more instruction presentations provided as an interactive classroom. We will be scheduling a meeting later this month to start the planning process for next year’s AEI and welcome anyone who would like to participate  in that meeting. You may contact either myself or Tara to get an invite.

Also please reach out to me if you have any ideas for the two days of  classes being offered at the Fall meeting in Spokane. An email was sent out to those on the east side of the state and I have only received feedback from two people. WABO would like to be relevant to your jurisdiction as we prepare these classes.

Outreach - Chair Stacy Criswell, CBO, ACO

The Public Outreach Committee was able to discuss several things at this years Spring Business Meeting including the “What is a Building Official” document, and 4 separate tip sheets for electrical requirements of the Washington State Energy Codes for both the inspector and plans examiner. What is a Building Official document and the energy code tip sheets were a collaboration from multiple jurisdictions partnering together which is great to see. If you are interested in viewing these documents, please go to our website at WABO.org and search under the resource tab in “Member Services”.

Lastly, public outreach is working with the energy code taskforce, C&R and Government Relations Committee’s to create an energy code plans examiner certification for Washington State. While this is a large undertaking, teamwork and collaboration continues to get things done… If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] and I will try my best to help.


Government Relations - Chair Tim Woodard

The Government Relations committee (GRC) met at the Spring 2022 Business Meeting and many topics were discussed.

  • Our new lobbyist Marian Dacca was introduced to the membership.
  • Discussion included a breakdown of all the legislation that WABO was tracking this year. Ultimately no legislation that WABO was concerned about passed the legislature.
  • We conducted a tutorial on how to be involved and use the website as a resource for government relations.

WABO 2022 Mini-Golf Tournament

Emergency Management Committee - Chair Doug Powell, CBO

Emergency Management Committee’s focus has been on updating WABO’s Emergency Management web site with current resources for an “All Hazards Planning” perspective. Emergency Management web site now has a fresh look with new and updated Mutual Aid Toolkit with resources for Planning, Response and Recovery. Additional information and resources are provided for WAsafe, Current Responders, Becoming a Responder, and other important information regarding the WAsafe program. If you’re curious about becoming a volunteer coordinator or responder, please review the information on the web site. Emergency Management Committee group will continue to work toward providing additional resources for other hazards so if you have any ideas, please share those ideas, and check back on the WABO Emergency Management web site periodically for new information and resources. Also, reach out to your Emergency Management Chair at [email protected] to discuss any questions or concerns you may have in becoming a volunteer coordinator or responder for the WAsafe program.

 WABOnians enjoying the Thursday night social!

Accreditation CommitteeChair James Tumelson, CBO, MCP, ME, ACO 

The membership was briefed on the Accreditation Committee’s 2022 workplan and what has our attention. The Code Official Accreditation Program (COAP) will have, for the first time, two separate instructors to teach the first year. This effort is to combat attrition within the program and the large demand for this first year. All three years are effectively being taught currently and students have the option of enrollment into years one and two simultaneously. The committee is currently engaged in a developing a curriculum (DACUM) process in efforts to create a fourth year in the COAP focused solely on the role of a Building Official.  This effort includes various stakeholders that regularly interface with a Building Official. The committee has also begun the development of a 12 module self-paced program to educate code officials that are interested in additional specialized training.

The Accreditation Committee would ask that you consider joining your peers as an Accredited Code Official (ACO) and/or enroll in the COAP. If interested in the COAP, we would urge you to enroll in the program now, as space is limited and classes are starting this fall September 12th, 2022.


TCD Scholarship Reports on the ICC Committee Action Hearings (Group B), March - April 2022, Rochester, NY:

Shane Nilles  - City of Cheney

This go around I was only able to attend the hearings for the IRC-B portion of codes and I think I can only sum it up as predetermined chaos. At least that’s my observation. In the last two committee action hearings I attended I found it common that the testimonies swayed the committee members. That regardless of what they may have originally thought about a proposal, that they may change their minds. Didn’t seem to be the case so much this time.

Perhaps it was the compilation of the committee. Half of them had some sort of ties with the National Home Builders Association. Yet there were some proposals that you would think they would like that didn’t get approved. For instance, I submitted a proposal that I felt was a clarification only that would clearly allow plumbing and mechanical piping to pass directly through “common walls” in townhouse buildings. The initial opposition seemed disconnected from the reality that the code no longer makes each townhouse its own building, but rather units within the building. They suggested that my proposal shouldn’t be allowed due to a perceived “demarcation” by the common wall style, despite the fact that the implied prohibition to allow the penetrations does not exist in two-wall-style townhouse separation walls. I would have thought that those with concerned with home affordability would have loved a proposal that provided for design flexibility. Surprisingly that was not the case as it was overwhelming disapproved. Alternatively, there was a proposal that added additional, unjustified, stringency to “vertically stacked” two-family dwellings that was passed easily without any recognition that the proposal contained such technical changes.

It’s hard for me to grasp exactly why there was such unpredictability in results. I have yet to settle on how it made me feel. But it certainly stood out and will play a part in how I will approach any future code change proposals. I think the lesson learned is you can’t predict where the committees will lean, so preparing testimony for a wider audience, or better yet chatting your proposals over with those that may oppose it beforehand, may be the path to receive better results.


C. Ray Allshouse, AIA, CBO,ACO - City of Shoreline

This round, I was able to attend five full days of the Group B Committee Action Hearings in Rochester, NY.  I truly appreciated listening to testimony and committee dialogue on a wide range of proposed changes for the 2024 ICC model codes under the ADMIN, IEBC and IRC-Building segments.  I was also able to make a small contribution of testimony and “me too” support on a few proposals.  It was pleasing to be a part of a formidable Washington contingent, helping to maintain a credible contribution to code development efforts at the national level by WABO representatives.  I continue to believe that this is a wise use of WABO financial resources as it keeps the WABO “brand” in the forefront of the construction industry while also helping to improve the model codes over time.  I hope that we can influence even more WABO colleagues to participate in this effort in the years ahead.


Lee Kranz,CBO,ACO - CWA Consultants

Working with the WABO Technical Code Development (TCD) Committee is an example of how writing code changes, attending committee meetings, and going to the ICC hearings can improve the codes and our built environment.   My trip to Rochester, NY this Spring for the ICC Committee Action Hearings (PCHs) was great and it was so good to my code development friends in person.  The importance of networking with other professionals to get ideas on how our proposals could be improved and garner support for them is still the key to getting code changes approved.  

I encourage every WABO member to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the TCD Committee meetings as well as attend the Hearings.  By attending the ICC Code Development Hearings, you will always learn new things about the codes, get a better understanding of how the code development process works and make a lot of new friends who have the same interests as you.  WABO TCD is a nationally known and highly respected code development team who consistently contribute to the improvement of the codes we enforce.  Now is the time for you to get involved.  Share your knowledge of the codes and how they can be improved. 

Angela Haupt, CBO - City of Kirkland

I recently attended the ICC Code hearings in Rochester, NY. I have now attended a number of code hearings. I am starting to feel more comfortable getting up and testifying. The more I participate with TCD, the more confident I am in my actual code knowledge. As always, it is interesting to hear different people’s points of view about code. These hearings clearly showed how much the codes are up to interpretation. There were a number of instances where there were multiple code change proposals on the same code sections that were from totally different points of view. Some made me say, “what?” and some were like, “yeah I can see that”.
These were the first CAH that I really questioned the qualifications of a committee. The make-up of the IRC committee seemed a bit questionable and skewed. They appeared to always want to disapprove without providing any justification that made sense. They seemed confused by what was being proposed too often. There are a number of disapproved proposals that I think will be overturned and get a second shot at the PCH. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Louisville, KY. As always, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this process.


Quyen Thai, CBO - City of Tacoma

First, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Washington Association of Building Official Technical Code Development Committee for granting me a scholarship to attend the ICC Committee Action Hearing in Rochester, New York. To place the trust in me to represent WABO TCD with several code proposals in Group B.

This hearing was my first in-person hearing that I both attended and testified in front of the ICC membership and committee members for Residential-Building (RB). At first, I was a bit nervous when I was testifying for RB61. Luckily, this proposal was simple and was easily passed. The one proposal that I was a little bit nervous about was RB64. I thought that I would have a fair amount of opposition but miraculously, this proposal passed without much of a hitch.

It wasn’t until RB65 and RB90 that it was both easy for me to testify in front of but also where I had the most opposition from. RB90 was rather difficult because we had worked with Seattle to go after them (RB91) thinking if RB91 would be passed than WABO TCD would ask for disapproval of RB90. Unfortunately, RB91 hit a wall from both oppositions and several committee members.

This in turn put even more pressure on me to come up with an argument/testimony the following morning to try and convince the membership and committee members that RB90 (and of course RB91) was a valid proposal. This proposal was to help jurisdiction identify what would be considered an obstruction in the EERO. Unfortunately, we were unable to convince the committee members. But, through all of the arguments, I was able to understand and hopefully make some future amendments with the blessing of TCD to the proposal for Public Comments to maybe get it passed moving forward.

The experience and the relationship I developed during this hearing was invaluable. Afterwards during the evenings, I had an opportunity to meet several ICC members as well as the committee members themselves to talk about my overall experience there and some even provided me with some tips moving forward! Again, I would like to extend my gratitude to all of you at WABO for being so kind and supportive of my career and development as a code reviewer and allowing me to be a part of your organization.