From The International Code Council
Global Application of Building Codes
as Disaster Risk Management Tools
Examined at Global Forum
  Global Forum
Attendees of the 2012 Annual Conference listen to presenters during the Global Forum in POrtland, Ore.

Drew Azzara, Vice President of ICC Global Services, welcomed attendees to the 2012 Global Forum at the Oregon Convention Center Monday afternoon.

“This Forum will address how disaster risk management can be effected by properly developed enforcement and technically sound building regulations," Azzara said. “Each of the experiences that you will hear will have a common thread. The common thread is building safety. That common thread is what ICC is all about. It’s in our mission, it’s in our vision. It’s in all of our interests.

“The ICC continues an aggressive outreach effort,” Azzara continued, “connecting with building officials around the world, and our influence has never been greater.

Presentations were made by representatives of Mexico, Abu Dhabi, the United States and Puerto Rico, the Republic of Georgia, Egypt and Japan. Each country has its own unique history with building codes and circumstances that constrain or circumscribe what approaches will work best.

Keynote speaker Dr. Sergio Alcocer addressed the topic based on Mexico’s experiences. He said he had two ideas that he wanted to convey in his presentation.

“The first is, of course, that building codes are very important, especially if they are based on sound research and sound engineering,” Alcocer said. “The second idea I would convey to you is that building codes are not the only solution for obtaining safe buildings. There are other issues that are important, particularly in countries like mine where there are other deterrents, other issues that should be resolved before [addressing] building code compliance.

“We need to convince authorities that every dollar they spend in mitigation and the development of codes, they may save five or ten dollars worth of damage [recovery],” Alcocer added.

Other presenters for the Forum were:

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
“Rigorous, up-to-date Building Codes make a difference in the aftermath of a disaster” by Yasmeen Sami Saadah, Director, Division of Municipal Regulations, Governance Sector, Department of Municipal Affairs

United States
“Global Lessons From FEMA’s Building Science Activities,” presented by Mike Mahoney, Senior Geophysicist, Federal Emergency Management AgencyPuerto Rico
"The 2011 Puerto Rico Building Code - Global Application of a Model Building Code as a Disaster Management Tool," presented by Ian Carlo Serna, Deputy Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Office of Permits Management

Republic of Georgia
“Construction Technical Regulatory Reform in Georgia,” presented by Temur Bolotashvili, Building Codes Manager, USAID Economic Prosperity Initiative

“The Role of HBRC in Sustainable Construction and the Need for New Regulations” presented by Dr. Khalid El Zahaby, Chairman, Housing & Building National Research Center

United States
“Kingdom of Bhutan Building Regulations,” presented by Melvyn Green, Structural Engineer, Melvyn Green and Associates, Inc.

“Reexamination of Building Standards based on damage of the Great East Japan Earthquake,” presented by Shuji Mukunoki, Executive Director of the Information Center for Building Administration (ICBA), and “Measures taken for the reconstruction of damages caused by the East Japan Great Earthquake –Assistance and present situation of the local government,” presented by Takahiro Sofue, Supervisor of Construction Instruction, Department of Construction, Aichi Prefectural Government and Masato Umeda, Building Official, Gifu City