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Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Husted announce significant word reduction in Ohio Administrative Code through Updated Building Codes

Written on Sep 29, 2023

 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced that the Ohio Board of Building Standards recently adopted the 2024 Ohio Building (OBC), Mechanical (OMC) & Plumbing Codes (OPC) rules, a process that resulted in the removal of duplicative and unnecessary language in these codes and decreases the number of words in the Ohio Administrative Code by over 610,000, ultimately making it easier for businesses to comply. 

The adoption of these rules, and significant removal of duplicative language, is part of an overall plan announced by the Administration in January 2023 to eliminate one-third of the Ohio Administrative Code. Under the direction of Lt. Governor Husted, Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) was tasked with identifying sections of the OAC that are duplicative, unnecessary, or no longer used. 

Ohio is unique in that national code standards are copied word for word in the OAC rather than simply referencing national requirements. As a result, Ohio’s building, mechanical, and plumbing codes are vastly longer than any of Ohio’s neighboring states. By rewriting Ohio state codes to identify the differences between Ohio codes and their equivalent national standard, rather than copying complex code books into Ohio’s regulatory code word for word, these OAC sections are being reduced by approximately 90%, making it easier for businesses to identify Ohio-specific requirements and flexibilities. These changes have been enacted for the Ohio Building Code, the Ohio Mechanical Code, and the Ohio Plumbing Code through the ordinary rule process to ensure that Ohio businesses had the opportunity to share their feedback. 

The new building code rules have 90% fewer words than the previously adopted rules and have more than 10,000 regulatory restrictions eliminated. The new mechanical code rules have 85% fewer words and have more than 2,500 regulatory restrictions eliminated. The new plumbing code rules have 75% fewer words and more than 1,800 regulatory restrictions eliminated. 

BBS adopted the codes incorporating the 2021 International Codes published by the International Code Council (ICC) with Ohio amendments. The new rules have a significant reduction in words and regulatory restrictions that have been eliminated. 

These building codes are in place to protect the public’s safety and welfare in all aspects of building, design, and construction. They apply to the construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal, and demolition of every building or structure in the state. 

The changes mean the adopted rules look differently than they have in the past, but the published code books, both online and in print, will look the same as previous editions, integrating both model code and Ohio modifications into cohesive documents. The entire 2024 Ohio Building, Mechanical, Plumbing, and Existing Building Codes will be available on the ICC’s Ohio eCode Bookshelf no later than Nov. 1, 2023. 

BBS formulates and adopts rules governing the Ohio Residential and Non-Residential Building Codes. The Board also certifies municipal, county and township building departments to enforce the Ohio Residential and Non-Residential Codes. 

The newly adopted codes will go into effect on March 1, 2024. 

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