Regulatory Issues

Updates from the HBAG Regulatory Affairs Committee

Current Mandatory Construction Codes for 2021 as Adopted by DCA:

  • International Building Code, 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2020)
  • International Residential Code, 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2020)
  • International Fire Code, 2018 Edition (Contact State Fire Marshal)
  • International Plumbing Code, 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2020)
  • International Mechanical Code 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2020)
  • International Fuel Gas Code,2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2020)
  • National Electrical Code, 2020 Edition (No Georgia Amendments)
  • International Energy Conservation Code, 2015 Edition, with Georgia Supplements and Amendments (2020)
  • International Swimming Pool and Spa Code, 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2020)

For information and questions regarding the Life Safety Code (NFPA 101), IFC Georgia Amendments or the Georgia Accessibility Code please contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Current Permissive Codes for 2021 as Adopted by DCA:

  • Disaster Resilient Building Code IBC Appendix(2013)
  • Disaster Resilient Building Code IRC Appendix (2013)

International Property

  • Maintenance Code, 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2021)

International Existing Building Code, 2018 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2021)

  • National Green Building Standard, 2008 Edition, with Georgia Amendments (2011)

A Permissive Code must be allowed by a local jurisdiction to be enforced.

CONTACT: codes@dca.ga.gov


Licensing Information

How to Obtain License
Click here for types of Residential & General Contractors requiring a license and how to obtain a license.
Click here for exam information.
Click here for financial and insurance requirements.

License Renewal
THE 2020 DEADLINE WILL BE JUNE 30th, 2020. STAY TUNED FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE 2020 DEADLINE.
When it is time to renew your Georgia Professional Residential or General Contractor’s License, here are some guidelines.

Visit http://www.sos.ga.gov/plb before the deadline to renew. Click on the License Renewal link to begin the renewal process. The online renewal process takes only a few minutes. After updating both your physical and your mailing addresses, and your email address, and answering the renewal questions, you may pay using your American Express, Mastercard, or Visa using the secure server.

Please submit Continuing Education documents if you are selected for audit. Please do not submit continuing education documents unless you are selected for audit.
Submit your renewal online in minutes – just follow these quick and easy steps:

  • Visit the Georgia Online Licensing site at www.sos.ga.gov/plb (Free internet access is available at every Georgia Public Library)
  • Click on the License Renewal link to begin the renewal process.
  • Step-by-step instructions may be found here: www.sos.ga.gov/plb/renewal_process.htm
  • NOTE: Facilities may not submit an address change during renewal. Address changes require submission of a new application.
  • Individual license holders please update your mailing and physical location addresses, phone number, e-mail address and answer the renewal questions.
  • Pay your renewal fee(s) using your American Express, Mastercard, or Visa on the secure server.
  • Print your receipt of payment.
  • Verify your renewal online.
  • Print your license online.

AVOID ADDITIONAL DELAY & LATE FEES BY RENEWING ON TIME!


 

Burning Ban Began May 1, 2021

On May 1, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) open burning ban took effect for 54 Georgia counties. The open burning ban has been in place during the summer ozone season since 2005.

The EPD open burning ban prohibits citizens and businesses from burning yard and land-clearing debris from May 1 through September 30. This is in addition to the rule that prohibits the burning of household garbage. Burning household garbage is never allowed anywhere in Georgia.

Click here for more information and a list of counties


Electrical Code

Arc-Fault Information

Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection - Advanced Technology to Reduce Electrical Fires
 
Bryan P. Holland, MCP.
NEMA Codes & Standards
 
Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are examples of emergency equipment used in homes to take action when a fire occurs. However, an arc-fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) is a product that is designed to detect arcing faults in a circuit and turn off the electrical system before it becomes an ignition source.Conventional overcurrent protective devices cannot detect these hazardous arcing currents that have the potential to initiate fires. Electrical fires take many lives, damage or destroy significant amounts of property, and often occur in areas of the home that are hidden from view or early detection.
 
Electric arcing creates intense heating that can ignite surrounding material, such as wood framing or insulation. The temperature of these arcs can exceed 10,000 °F. An AFCI device uses advanced electronic technology to monitor the circuit for the presence of these "hazardous" arcing conditions. Some
equipment in the home, such as a vacuum cleaner or refrigerator, naturally create electric arcs. This is considered to be a normal arcing condition. Another normal arcing condition that can sometimes be seen is when a light switch is turned off or when an electric cord is unplugged.
 
A hazardous arc occurs for many reasons including damage to conductor insulation from nails, screws,sharp points, or even furniture placed on top of an appliance or lamp cord. When arcing occurs, the AFCI analyzes the characteristics of the event and determines if it is a normal or hazardous arc. AFCI manufacturers test for the hundreds of possible operating conditions and then program their devices to respond only to the hazardous arcing conditions. AFCI technology can be incorporated into circuit breakers, receptacles, appliances and appliance cords.
 
Research in the arc fault area began in the early 1990s when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identified a concern with the residential fires of electrical origin. A large number of these fires were determined to be in the branch-circuit premise wiring. It was these early studies that led to the first proposals requiring AFCIs, which were made during the development of the 1999 NEC.NEC Code-Making Panel 2 (CMP2) reviewed many proposals and heard numerous presentations on the new technology. After much data analysis and discussion, CMP2 concluded that AFCI protection should initially be required for branch circuits that supply receptacle outlets in bedrooms.
 
Subsequent editions of the NEC further expanded the requirements to now include all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens,family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, and similar rooms or areas. The most current edition of the NEC(2017 edition) also requires AFCI protection in dormitory units, guest rooms, guest suites, where branch circuits are extended or modified, and for the replacement of certain receptacles in a dwelling or dormitory unit.

Reducing fires of electrical origin and saving lives is an important responsibility of the entire construction and regulatory community. Applying technology to improve the electrical safety of the home is a wise investment for both the homeowner and the community at large. Through extensive product testing and the proper application of the NEC requirements, AFCIs will provide superior protection against arcing faults and is the advanced technology to reduce electrical fires.


 

Mandatory Residential Pool Code

As many of you are aware, the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code became Mandatory effective January 1, 2017.

The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC) is the first comprehensive pool code coordinated with the current requirements in the International Codes and APSP standards. Benefits of the ISPSC include seamless integration with the widely-adopted family of International Codes, meets or exceeds the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act requirements, covers fencing, decks, lighting, heaters, circulation systems, pumps, accessibility, diving, sanitizing equipment, filters, and suction fittings, and includes provisions for diving barriers, general design, and water quality safety. The ISPSC is important to all segments of the industry because it creates one all-inclusive uniform pool and spa code that will be used statewide. The 2012 edition was approved unanimously by the Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs (DCA) in 2016. Please see attachment for more information.


Span Tables for Southern Pine

REMINDER: New span tables for Southern Pine went into effect in January of 2016. HBAG successfully lobbied for a 1 year delay in implementation to allow all truss manufacturers and other suppliers to have inventory updated and available. This is the only code change for 2016. Please see the Georgia State Amendments to the International Residential Code for One and Two Family Dwellings document from the Department of Community Affairs. Refer to pages 5-18 – there are charts for everything – framing, rafters, walls, headers, etc.
Visit the American Wood Council website here for more helpful resources regarding deck construction.
The DCA 6 – Prescriptive Residential Deck Construction Guide – 2009 IRC Version with May 2013 Addendum highlights areas of the document (pages 1-4) that have been changed for your convenience.

Energy Code Workshops Around State

The Georgia DCA Building Codes Department and Southface were awarded grant through GEFA, Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, to provide training on the updates and changes of the new Energy Code and Amendments for the State of Georgia. The code becomes effective January 1, 2020. These workshops will cover the changes in commercial and residential energy codes, best practices for implementation and compliance of new rules, as well as a Q&A session.
The Energy Code Workshops have been approved by Southface as qualifying for AIA, ICC, BPI, and HERS Continuing Education Credits. They have also been approved by the Home Builders Assn of Georgia (HBAG) as qualifying under the Rules of the State Licensing of Residential and General Contractors for Licensing Continuing Education Units.

Click here for the current list of classes.


Environmental Issues

Georgia’s State Water Plan

The 2004 Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Planning Act authorized the development of the State Water Plan. The State Water Plan in turn, calls for statewide regional water planning to provide the necessary local and regional perspectives to ensure each of Georgia’s ten water planning region’s water resources are sustainably managed through at least 2050.

Water Planning Regions: (see map)
 
 
NPDES Construction Storm General Permits
http://epd.georgia.gov/npdes-constuction-storm-water-general-permts
General Permit – GAR 100003 – Common Development
Erosion Control Education and Certification “blue cards” – http://gaswcc.georgia.gov/education-and-certification
Verification of lawful presence in US needed, also needed for builder licensing – https://gaswcc.georgia.gov/
Septic Tanks, also known as On-Site Waste Management Systems under Dept. of Public Health http://dph.georgia.gov/wastewater-rules-and-regulations 

Lead-Based Paint Information

Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s Lead-Based Paint website – http://epd.georgia.gov/lead-based-paint
 
Application to become a Georgia Certified Renovation Firm can be found here.
 
Application to become a Georgia Certified Renovator can be found here.
 
A list of Georgia Accredited Renovation Training Providers can be found here.
 
A Summary of the Georgia Lead-Based Paint RRP Rules can be found here.
 

Information Request

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If you have any questions please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you!

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