Governor Northam designates May as Building Safety Month

construction
Credit: shotbydave

Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation declaring May as Building Safety Month in Virginia.

Today, the Governor recognized Virginia’s building and fire community professionals with a special ceremony held at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University and highlighted the importance of building and fire safety in creating vibrant and sustainable communities in the Commonwealth.

“Virginia has long been recognized as a national leader in the development of statewide building and fire codes, due, in large part, to the Commonwealth’s hardworking building and fire safety professionals and our government and industry partners,” said Governor Northam. “Strong and effective building safety standards are essential to maintaining secure structures and creating resilient communities, and my administration remains committed to ensuring the homes, schools, business, and buildings that Virginians depend on every day are built to keep us safe.

Virginia is beginning its three-year code development cycle for the 2018 Virginia codes, and in response to Governor Northam’s Executive Order Twenty-Four, the code development process will require each code change proposal submitted to include a “resiliency statement” indicating whether the proposal will increase or decrease resiliency and how. In addition, there will be a strong focus on building technology and innovation, as well as increasing energy efficiency in buildings.

“The work our building and fire community do every day is vital the safety of all that live, work, and raise families in Virginia,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Not only are building and fire regulations a matter of public safety, but they are also vital to the success of commerce and trade across the state by promoting reuse of materials and economic development.”

“The safety of Virginians is a top priority for this administration,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian J. Moran. “We are dedicated to implementing smart regulations which protect our residents and move Virginia forward. We must continue to work together to cultivate efforts which support innovative and efficient building practices.”

In addition to presenting the Building Safety Month proclamation to community stakeholders, Governor Northam also recognized five Virginia high school and college students who received scholarships through the Building Safety Month Essay Contest. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), in partnership with the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association (VBCOA) and the Virginia Plumbing and Mechanical Inspectors Association (VPMIA), produce a student essay scholarship contest to highlight Building Code Safety Month. This year’s winners are:

Award Name School Locality
First Place ($2,000) Kyle Renaux Bob Jones University Hampton
Second Place ($1,000) Grace Beattie Midlothian High School Midlothian
Honorable Mention ($500) Arden Floyd Orange County High School Orange
Honorable Mention ($500) Kariyah Jones James Madison University Harrisonburg
Honorable Mention ($500) Nathalie Williams Broadway High School Keezletown

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