NH House rejects bill to update building codes

Opponents cite increased housing costs


The NH House on Tuesday shot down two bills that would update the state’s outdated building and fire codes, despite the support of groups representing the building and construction trades.

The bill was rejected on a 188-157 vote. Opponents argued that the codes would increase housing costs.

House Bill 92 would update the states use of the 2009 International Building Code to the 2015 version, along with the updated International Plumbing Code, the International Mechanical Code, the International Energy Conservation Code, the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code and the International Residential Code 2015.

In opposing the bill, Rep. Steven Beaudoin, R-Rochester, cited one estimate that the code would increase costs by 12 percent, though he mainly cited requirements for increased insulation along with a recovery ventilation center which he said would add $8,000 to the cost of a new home.  

“There is nothing from stopping someone from building to a higher standard,” he said. “But with a shortage of affordable housing, why would we want to increase the cost to contractors?”

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