Preparing Buildings and Communities for Disease-Related Threats
Due to the complex and nonuniform approaches implemented globally, it is imperative that all aspects of the built environment be thoroughly analyzed to develop a comprehensive response. Recognizing this critical threat to both new and existing construction, the International Code Council (ICC) and National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) have established a new task force on pandemics to help our communities respond to COVID-19 and prepare for the next health threat. ICC has been tracking these efforts and provides a compilation of resources for the building industry.
The design and layout of buildings can have a significant impact on the health and safety of the occupants. This diverse task force will research the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the built environment. The group will then develop a roadmap and propose needed resources—including guidelines, recommended practices, publications, and updates to the International Codes (I-Codes)—that are necessary to overcome the numerous challenges faced during pandemics to construct safe, sustainable, and affordable structures.
ICC anticipates that the task force will complete:
- A comprehensive review of current code requirements as they relate to prevention of the transmission of diseases and other serious health concerns. Any suggested revisions to current code requirements based on this assessment will be processed as proposed code changes to the I-Codes.
- A comprehensive review of existing guides, executive orders, white papers, reports, and standards as they relate to design standards, preparedness, health considerations, and tools for operating during a pandemic.
- Identification of best practices and guides to address the design and layout of new and existing buildings.
- A comprehensive package of public information materials.