If you’re like most health care facility professionals, you know that conflicts in building codes can be a real headache. The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) works to reduce code con­flicts and advocates for the elimination of unneces­sary codes and regulations. About five years ago, ASHE raised this issue to a strategic imperative and began additional work to unify codes.

Unnecessary and conflicting codes and regula­tions can be costly, and the resources spent dealing with them can be put to better use. The goal of ASHE’s unified codes imperative is to improve quality and increase access to health care services by upgrad­ing or replacing aged health facilities and infra­structure using cost savings resulting from the elimination of such codes and regulations.

As part of ASHE’s ongoing efforts ASHE has partnered with the International Code Council (ICC) to form the Committee on Healthcare (HCC). Since 2011 this committee has brought together health care facilities managers, designers, industry professionals and building officials to create a better understanding of how health care codes function and are applied. Through this understanding ICC HCC has developed hundreds of proposals to help align the ICC codes with other health care codes and standards.

Just this past April, the HCC testified before several ICC Committees at the Code Action Committee hearings in regards to the latest round of code proposals submitted by the HCC. The HCC was successful in getting approval for 51 of these proposals — 45 of which were approved as submitted.

The "biggest win" was the approval of proposal FS67 which will more accurately reflect typical installations of fully ducted systems. The nine proposals that were disapproved will be modified to address the committee’s concerns and resubmitted as part of the public comment hearings later in October. For additional information on these proposals see the ICC 2021 Cycle Group A ICC HCC Proposals Results document.