IBQC sparks global dialogue on the performance of building products

WOBO thanks Judy for the link to the debate on Building Products and their Performance.

Judy Zakreski

Judy Zakreski is the vice president of Global Services for the International Code Council, leading the global initiatives of its business units and subsidiaries under a united strategy to capitalize on synergies and achieve growth. She joined the Code Council in 2018 following a 25-year career in the private sector where she worked with manufacturers to enter international markets.

The International Building Quality Centre (IBQC) recently released a discussion paper about building product performance. The discussion paper is the product of an IBQC working group led by Dame Judith Hackitt, with participation from experts from the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. The paper is deliberately provocative and means to instigate a dialogue about whether the mechanisms currently in place globally to regulate the performance of building products — up to and including the entire building itself — are fit-for-purpose. The question, of course, has a different answer depending upon the effectiveness of regulation in a given jurisdiction and the bias of the reader, depending on their role in the building safety ecosystem.

The Building Product Performance Part One — Discussion Paper, which can be downloaded for free from the IBQC website, is the first of two parts exploring the subject of building product performance. Part one is essentially a problem statement, which examines known problems and challenges that have been documented — in large part during the Grenfell Inquiry and similar inquiries in Australia — to identify those that impact the conformity and/or compliance of building products. The second paper in the series will focus on the elements of a good practice framework, based on responses received from the global community in response to part one.

In order to facilitate participation in a global dialogue about the problem statement and examples of regulatory successes that could potentially address the problems reported in part one, the IBQC will offer a free two-session webinar with several of the working group members as well as building product safety experts. Registration is now open for the sessions, which will be offered at 4:00 a.m. EDT and noon EDT on May 12, 2022, which should enable interested parties from around the world to join at a time that is most convenient for them. Prior to each workshop, global stakeholders are invited to share their thoughts and questions to be addressed at one or both of the webinars by completing the online form that has been set up for this purpose.

The International Code Council strongly supports the good work of the IBQC, and Code Council staff have invested heavily into helping shape the paper to enable constructive dialogue among experts from jurisdictions with distinctly different regulatory ecosystems who face similar challenges. Members are encouraged to read the report and engage in this important discussion.

The IBQC is an all-volunteer center of excellence that fosters discussion and research about best practice building regulatory systems and regimes. The Code Council has been actively involved in the IBQC for more than two years, and Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO, serves on the IBQC Board of Directors. This Problem Statement marks the fourth publication related to best practices in achieving a safer built environment from the group. All publications are available as free downloads on the IBQC website.

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