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Board trims 610,000 words from Ohio building regulations

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(The Center Square) – Builders in Ohio will deal with nearly 15,000 fewer regulatory restrictions Friday when new building, mechanical and plumbing rules go into effect.

The Ohio Board of Building Standards recently adopted rule changes showing a significant reduction in regulations and the actual number of words on the code. Overall, more than 610,000 words were eliminated.

Officials hope the streamlined code and regulation reductions will make businesses’ compliance easier.

“A streamlined administrative code is easier to comply with, meaning business can save resources while providing better service and enhanced safety,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “I commend the Ohio Board of Building Standards for their work with the Common Sense Initiative to improve the building, mechanical and plumbing codes.”

The reduction was part of the initiative announced in January 2023 to eliminate a third of the Ohio Administrative Code by identifying sections that are unnecessary, no longer used for duplicated.

“This is a step forward in the Common Sense Initiative’s goal to make it easier for people and businesses to comply in Ohio,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. “Through the passage of the recent budget, we have been able to remove 1.5 million total words from the Ohio Administrative Code in addition to the 610,000 here, saving people more time and money when they do business in Ohio.”

The new reductions include:

• Ohio Building Code Rules: 90% fewer words and 10,000 fewer regulatory restrictions.

• Mechanical Code Rules: 85% fewer words and 2,500 fewer regulatory restrictions.

• Plumbing Code Rules: 75% fewer words and 1,800 regulatory restrictions.

The codes were updated based on the 2021 International Model Code.

“The 2024 codes will continue to help protect the public, while the elimination of duplicative provisions, outdated sections, and unnecessary requirements will simplify the codes and make it easier for Ohioans to understand them and is consistent with how all other states adopt the model code,” Board Chairman Timothy Galvin said.

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