|Commissioner's Corner by John Caywood, Allen County Building Commissioner|
I am writing this on the eve of traveling to the Statehouse tomorrow to testify on SB 393. This bill requires that the permit applicant is required to disclose the use of “advanced structural material” on a permit. They are referring primarily to engineered floor joists which use OSB webbing for the vertical component of the joist. I am being told this is for the protection of first responders in case of a fire. As the Local Building Official, I would require you to indicate this on your permit, and then confirm the use at the framing inspection. I then have to let the Fire Department and the 911 Center know electronically, read receipt, that your building has this component.
While I understand the need for safety for our first responders, wouldn’t a half hour training session be sufficient for the average fireman out there today? Realistically, a majority of new construction is employing this already. Most of us can look at a house (or addition) and tell pretty quickly that certain subdivisions were created prior to engineered floor joists. This bill has the potential to raise permit fees with additional requirements of the local agency. It also looks like the State of Indiana will adopt some form of the 2018 IRC in the next year There are provisions for some type of fire-rated protection of engineered joists in that code, making this bill a moot point in the future. I am committed to keeping Allen County permitting responsive, inexpensive, and efficient as we continue to outpace comparable communities in our region.
John Caywood Building Commissioner