International Code Council provides new guidelines for virtual inspections

After COVID-19 restrictions on the construction industry were put in place, the International Code Council surveyed code departments across the US to better understand their capabilities and to collect best practices that could help inform procedures in other departments. The survey results were published in a previous blog post about industry trends and emerging issues. The ICC has now prepared a follow-up survey to determine how code departments have responded in the interim. In addition, it has published information based on the needs identified in the first survey.

The ICC’s new guideline document, “Recommended Practices for Remote Virtual Inspections,” is intended to help governments develop virtual code inspection programs. The document includes guidelines in a step-by-step format and is based on study and research of various virtual inspection methods, as well as discussion with ICC membership and industry experts. According to the ICC, remote inspections allow operations to continue even when the materials or buildings are inaccessible or in dangerous environments, and they allow jurisdictions to save the time and money involved with inspector site visits.

The publication is available to download, with print copies available for purchase. An infographic on virtual inspections, “Keys to Success for Remote Virtual Inspections,” is also available. The ICC’s Community Development Solutions arm, which provides software solutions for building departments and code enforcers, is also in the process of developing software for remote inspection services. Professionals are invited to provide feedback on the program to guide future improvements.

In addition, the ICC has a series of white papers that share considerations for addressing the needs of code enforcement agencies ranging from reopening code department operations to moving permitting and plan review online. That information is available through the ICC’s Coronavirus Response Center.

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