WABO was well-represented at the ICC Annual Business Meeting in Kansas City.


WABO Fall Quarterly Business Meeting

Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington

October 13-14, 2016


President's Report - Tom Phillips

 Hopefully you all survived the great October wind storm!  We can joke about it now but we came very close to a severe event that could have damaged buildings and caused injury and death.  It was a powerful reminder of how important WABO’s statewide leadership in emergency management is. 

I’m very pleased to report we had one of our largest membership turnouts at the quarterly business meeting in Spokane on October 13 and 14.  A lot was accomplished in our committees and some very useful information was presented.  Kelly Mayo gave very informative presentations of how L&I regulates food trucks and tiny houses.  Ray Allshouse led a panel discussion with members from the Department of Licensing Boards for Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers.  Not sure we solved all of the world’s problems but we all became better informed on issues of who can do what work and the many nuances of stamping plans.  The Thursday social event at O’Doherty’s Irish Grill was a great success and Simpson Strong Tie and the West Coast Code Consultants hosted a Wednesday evening social that provided much networking.  Your WABO Board is committed to providing value to our members at the quarterly meetings through quality education and networking while accomplishing the goals set out in our strategic plan.

I had the pleasure of attending the ICC Annual Business meeting in Kansas City last week.  The highlight of the meeting was watching our immediate Past President, Jon Siu, being awarded the Bobby Fowler award.  This award is the most prestigious award given by ICC and part of the criteria of the recipient is to, “have a legacy of service with integrity, professionalism and compassion in furthering the noble cause of ICC.”  I think we can all agree that Jon meets that criteria.  Prior to the meeting, ICC flew to Seattle and videotaped an extensive interview with Jon that was shown to the thousand people in attendance at the award banquet.  Afterward, Jon gave a very humbling yet powerful acceptance speech asking for all of us to be more engaged in the important work we do.  Be sure to congratulate Jon the next time you see him!  Maureen Traxler was also awarded with an Honorary Membership for her years of outstanding service with ICC to go along with the Honorary WABO Membership presented to her at Semiahmoo.

Finally, with the upcoming retirement of Julie and Tim Rogers, WABO has signed an agreement with Tara Jenkins to take over as our Executive Director and for her new company, Jenkins Management Solutions, LLC, to provide WABO with its management services.  This agreement takes effect January 1, 2017.  Julie and Tim will assist with the transition through the end of 2017.   We will all miss Julie and Tim but trust that Tara and her team will provide the same high level of service to WABO.

 I look forward to seeing you all at our annual legislative meeting in Lacey on January 26!



Jon Siu Wins Bobby Fowler Award

Jonathan C. Siu, principal engineer/building official for the city of Seattle, Department of Construction and Inspections, was presented the prestigious Bobby J. Fowler Award during the Annual Banquet at ICC's 2016 Annual Conference in Kansas City, Mo.

The Bobby J. Fowler Award is the most prestigious award presented by the International Code Council. The Fowler Award honors the memory of the first chairman of the ICC Board of Directors who led the charge to consolidate three regional model code organizations into one association. The award is presented to individuals whose contributions to the building safety industry advance the Code Council's goals to achieve a safer built environment. The recipient is a leader who demonstrates integrity, professionalism and compassion to further building safety.

For the past 16 years, Jonathan C. Siu has been instrumental in the code development process. He has had considerable success in developing code changes and improving the code's consistency, clarity and effectiveness. Through 30 years of public service, Siu has been an exemplary public servant and has contributed countless hours working to improve the safety of the built environment both at a national and regional level.

Siu's primary contributions and interests are in seismic design and safety, the challenges of existing buildings, and in other safety issues such as egress. His years of involvement in the seismic field just may be him following in his father's footsteps. Siu's dedicated efforts have been to improve the built environment by serving on committees, and developing and improving the International Building Code and the International Existing Building Code.

Currently, Siu is on the WAsafe steering committee, a coalition of WABO, SEAW, AIA, and ASCE with WA State Dept. of Health assistance. This organization is setting up a statewide registry and dispatch system for volunteer building evaluators after a natural disaster.

For more than 20 years, Jon has been an active trainer for ATC-20 (Post-Earthquake Evaluation of Buildings), and served on the Building Seismic Safety Council's Code Resource Support Committee for over a decade.  He was on the 2011 SEAW reconnaissance team to Japan, and later returned as a volunteer to help with recovery from the Tohoku earthquake.

"Tireless effort would be an understatement for the years of commitment Siu has bestowed on the Engineering and Building professions," commented International Code Council Board of Directors Immediate Past President Alex Olszowy. "His passion for the built community is to be commended, and we can all wish to aspire to your level of excellence."


Tim Nogler, Ray Allshouse, and Jon Siu hard at
work at the code hearings in Kansas City.

Committee Reports:

Technical Code Development - Chair Lee Kranz


The WABO Technical Code Development meeting was in Spokane on October 13 and 14 and was the culmination of the several months' effort to prepare for the ICC Group B Public Comment Hearings to be held in Kansas City, Mo on October 18 - 25.  In addition to making final assignments of who would be testifying on what, we also discussed some of the technical code changes to be heard in Kansas City.  These included ADM94-16 related to the adoption of Standard ASCE7 2016 into the 2018 IBC, RB27-16 related to going from 40 to 60 PSF for decks and balconies and S137-16 related to special inspection of wood construction. 

It was announced that Steve McGlocklin and Richard Williams have been appointed as WABO representatives to attend the ICC A117.1 Committee meetings.  Congratulations Steve and Richard. 

The Committee discussed the suggested changes to the State Building Code Council code development process.  These changes would add approximately 1 year to the process allowing technical advisory groups more time to complete their work of vetting new codes and amendments.  One possible result of the changes would be a delay for the next code adoption from June of 2019 to June 2020.  This would only apply to the 1st cycle.  Subsequent cycles will revert to a 3 year duration. 

TCD Members attending the ICC Group B Public Comment Hearings in Kansas City will meet after the hearings to discuss the content of the Group B WABO Voting Guide.  It is very important that all WABO members use the opportunity to vote.  TCD issued a Voting Guide for Group A Cycle last year.  Although we are unable to determine how many WABO members are actually voting using cdpACCESS, we are confident that they are doing so.  Because we know WABO members' time is valuable, the Voting Guide is limited to only those items TCD members feel are critical to maintaining an exceptional quality code, usually around 15 to 25 code changes. 

Any WABO members who have questions about the Voting Guide or how to use cdpACCESS may contact Lee Kranz at 425-452-2732. 


Education Committee - Chair Steve Hart

The Education Committee spent their time working on the 2017 Annual Education Institute. Progress was made to approve several classes that were popular at the Annual Education Institute this year including soils/footings/ foundation, building plan review, significant code update changes, fire stopping plan review, legal aspects of code administration and marijuana facilities.

New classes discussed and approved included the IPC/UPC Comparison, 2015 IEBC plan review, natural gas pipe sizing, residential/commercial energy code, brace wall panels and circuit venting.


ICC Public Code Hearing Scholarship Report – Angela Haupt

I recently attended the ICC Public Comment Code Hearings in Kansas City, MO.  This was my second experience with the ICC code and my first Public Comment Hearings. These hearings were very similar to the committee hearings that I attended earlier this year at ICC. These did not seem to move as quickly, but the moderators were very proficient. One thing that was a bit disconcerting was the number of non-voting advocates for most of the Energy Code items. Item after item, they stood and repeated the same thing over and over. It seemed like a bit of wasted time.

Because a number of the proposals got needlessly drawn out (one took 90 minutes), one of the evenings ended at nearly 1am. By that time, there were barely a handful of voting members left in the room and the motions were being decided by 15-20 people. I know that the length of the hearings may be a bit long already, but adding a buffer day would be beneficial to the process.  I found the overall experience enjoyable and a lot of the testimony educational. I am definitely not an expert on all facets of the code, but feel like I walked away with a better general knowledge. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this process.


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