Philly OKs building code to modernize construction, address climate change

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signs the building new code into law Thursday. It will take effect in October. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signs the building new code into law Thursday. It will take effect in October. (Tom MacDonald, WHYY)

The city of Philadelphia has officially adopted a new building code in an effort to modernize construction and address more severe weather associated with climate change.

The city is one of the first on the East Coast to implement the 2018 International Building Code, said Michael Fink who oversees code enforcement in the city.

It will solve problems in the old code, Fink said.

Licenses and Inspections Commissioner Dave Perri said it will also bring the city into modern times, especially when it comes to high tech and efficient building practices.

“Increasingly over the years, changes to the building code have been the driver to advance other critical societal goals — such as accessible features to insure use by people of all physical abilities, energy-efficiency improvements, and resistance to floods and climate change,” he said.

The new code also includes energy-efficiency standards, said Christine Knapp, director of the city’s Office of Sustainability.

The city’s “path to reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 won’t be easy,” she said. “It will take steps big and small by all of us. Today, we are happy to celebrate one step we’re taking to meet that goal.”

The new code will take effect Oct. 1.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.