The State Building Code Review Board (BCRB) is responsible for amending the State Building Code (see RSA 155-A:10,V). Any rules adopted by the BCRB to amend the state building code must be ratified by the state legislature within two years. If ratification does not occur, the rules expire and the State Building Code reverts to the language that was previously in effect. Amendments to the State Building Code are not subject to review by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (JLCAR).
Who Can Propose A Code Change
There are three ways that a proposed code amendment can be brought before the BCRB.
- A state agency, authority, board, or commission shall submit a request to vary, modify, or waive requirements of the State Building Code to the BCRB for approval. The BCRB must adopt the necessary rules to amend the State Building Code prior to the implementation of the proposed change (see RSA 155-A:2,X).
- A member of the public may propose an amendment.
- A member of the BCRB may propose an amendment.
When Can A Code Change Be Submitted
A State Building Code amendment can be submitted to the BCRB at any time. There are no deadlines. The BCRB meets at 10am on the second Friday of each month at the Department of Safety, 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH. There are no meetings in July and August unless called by the chair. Meeting notices, agendas and minutes are posted on the Department of Safety website.
How to Submit a Proposal for a Code Amendment
Proposals must be submitted in writing to:
State Building Code Review Board
Department of Safety
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
The following information should be submitted on the State Building Code Proposed Amendment Form :
- Name, address, telephone, and e-mail of the submitter
- The applicable code(s) and section number(s)
- The existing code language
- The proposed code language
- A short explanation of the reason for the proposed change
- If available, supporting technical documentation
- If available, letters of support from stakeholder organizations
- A brief description of the fiscal impact of the proposed code change, if known
Action by the State Building Code Review Board
Upon receipt of the proposed code amendment, the matter will be placed on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the BCRB. Following deliberation, the BCRB can take any of the following actions:
- request additional documentation from the submitter
- ask the BCRB chair to appoint a subcommittee to review the proposal
- reject the proposal if the request is not within the statutory authority of the BCRB, or
- schedule a public hearing, which usually occurs at the next regular meeting of the BCRB
When the proposal reaches the public hearing stage, the submitter is encouraged to appear before the BCRB to explain the reasons and justification for the proposed code change. Written testimony and supporting documentation can be submitted at this time as well. Any state agency or member of the public can appear to support or oppose the proposal, or to provide technical guidance to the BCRB. Additional written documentation can be submitted to the BCRB following the public hearing until such time as the BCRB acts upon the proposal, unless an earlier deadline has been established by the chair.
Following the public hearing, the BCRB will determine a time to deliberate and act upon the proposal. Deliberation and voting is always done in public at a duly posted meeting. A majority vote is required for adoption.
The BCRB can take the following actions:
- approve the proposal as submitted
- amend the proposal
- table the proposal for further review and investigation, typically by a sub-committee appointed by the chair
- deny the proposal
Ratification by the State Legislature
Within two years of the adoption of any rules to amend the State Building Code, the BCRB will ask a legislator(s) to sponsor a bill to ratify the amendments pursuant to RSA 155:10-V. If such amendments are not ratified, then the rules shall expire, notwithstanding RSA 541-A:17,I, at the end of the 2-year period.
State Building Code Review Board administrative rules and code amendments that have been adopted are posted on the BCRB website.
The official copies of the administrative rules and code amendments can be obtained from:
Office of the Commissioner
NH Department of Safety
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305
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