Hawaii Bill to Abolish Building Code Council Defeated

Hawaii State Senate defeated a bill its opponents said would have effectively removed the state from active involvement in building design and construction standards.

The Senate voted down Senate Bill 2692, which would abolish the State Building Code Council, and provide for a transition from the current to the new proposed law, and requires the counties to adopt building codes with their revisions or opt out of adoption.

Current Hawaiian law permits counties to make some modifications to the Hawaii State Building Code, but there are both substantive and procedural safeguards in place to avoid inappropriate amendments and maintain an appropriate degree of uniformity, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, which opposed the bill, stated.

“Building codes are intended to increase the safety and integrity of structures, thereby reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from a wide range of hazards,” Wanda Edwards, IBHS’ director of code development, said in a statement. “This bill would have undermined key components that are essential to an effective state building code regime—components that have been reinforced by IBHS’ new study of building code standards and processes in other hurricane-prone states.”