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Philly OKs building code to modernize construction, address climate change

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.

Department of 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.

About the author

Tom MacDonald, Reporter

WHYY reporter Tom MacDonald is a lifelong Philadelphia area resident who has worked in the region since the mid-1980s. Tom started in commercial radio covering the MOVE standoff with police for WFIL-AM. He was also City Hall Bureau Chief covering government and politics for more than a decade for WWDB-FM. Tom has been heard on numerous stations in the region during the decade he worked for Metro Traffic, doing news, traffic and weather. Tom has also been heard nationally, doing reports for NPR, ABC News Radio, NBC Radio, and CBS Radio. He has won the Associated Press award for his coverage of the protests of the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia and a Religious Communicators award for a post-9/11 documentary he did with the late Peter Jennings.



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