ARTICLE

Chickasaw Nation Participation Raises Profile of Native Americans at ICC Conference

By Greg West, IAS Staff
Terrence Richardson, Building Official for the Chickasaw Nation with Rick Weiland, Chief Executive Officer for the ICC at Global Forum
Terrence Richardson, Building Official for the Chickasaw Nation with Rick Weiland, Chief Executive Officer for the ICC, at the Global Forum at the Code Council's Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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The Chickasaw Nation was one of more than a dozen sovereign nations represented at the International Code Council’s (ICC) Annual Conference held in Charlotte, North Carolina last month. The event brought together over 1600 building industry professionals throughout the United States and from around the world to develop new building safety requirements that will be adopted into law to make buildings safer and more sustainable.

Terrence Richardson, Building Official for the Chickasaw Nation, attended the conference on behalf of the Nation to participate in the code development process and other key meetings.

“Most people never think about whether their house, school, place of business, or church is safe. This is because the ICC has done an extremely effective job of developing the building safety codes used to regulate construction of buildings,” said Richardson.

As a governmental member of the ICC, the Chickasaw Nation helps develop the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. The Chickasaw Nation, all fifty states, and the District of Columbia have adopted the International Codes®, building safety codes developed by the Code Council, at the state or jurisdictional level. Federal agencies including the Architect of the Capitol, General Services Administration, National Park Service, Department of State, U.S. Forest Service, and the Veterans Administration also enforce the International Codes. The Department of Defense references the ICC’s International Building Code® for constructing military facilities, including those that house U.S. troops, domestically and abroad.

Terrence Richardson (center) accepts a plaque for becoming an IAS accredited building department from Chuck Ramani (left), President of the International Accreditation Service, and then ICC President Steve Shapiro.
Terrence Richardson (center) accepts a plaque for becoming an IAS accredited building department from Chuck Ramani (left), President of the International Accreditation Service, and then ICC President Steve Shapiro. Photo taken at 2008 ICC Annual Conference.

The code development meetings at the ICC Annual Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, were the final steps in a three-year cycle to update the building safety provisions to create the 2012 editions of the International Codes. Attendance at the conference was mandatory for the Chickasaw Nation and all governmental members of the Code Council who want to vote on the proposed changes to the codes. While the ICC code development process is open and encourages participation from industry experts and even the general public, only governmental officials are permitted to vote on the final changes to the codes. This process keeps the code development process pure, balanced, and unduly influenced by special interest groups.

Terrence Richardson also represented the Chickasaw Nation at the Global Forum, a Code Council Annual Conference event that provides nations with opportunities to learn from each other about building safety programs they use to protect their citizens. Nations represented included Abu Dhabi, Australia, Barbados, Canada, Chickasaw, Egypt, Grand Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The Chickasaw Nation flag was flown with those from the other nations with representatives in attendance.

Richardson, along with other conference attendees, also participated in training and education sessions needed to keep up to date on the code provisions, building technologies, and best practices used by building departments. The training provided continuing education units required to maintain professional ICC certifications needed to work in the field of building safety.

As the Building Official for the Chickasaw Nation, Terrence Richardson holds over 33 ICC professional certifications and has earned ICC’s highest designation of Master Code Official, making him one the most qualified building safety professionals in the United States.

At the 2008 Code Council Annual Awards Luncheon, the Chickasaw Nation was recognized for becoming the first building department in the State of Oklahoma to become accredited by the International Accreditation Service, a subsidiary of the ICC. The Annual Awards Luncheon provides an opportunity for leaders in the field of building safety round the world to honor their peers. The IAS accreditation program provides a trusted, independent assessment and verification that the department is operating at the highest legal, ethical, and technical standards.

Conference attendees were also able to see and learn about the latest building products and services at the ICC Expo. Exhibiting companies included manufacturers of products used to construct buildings, software companies, testing laboratories, industry associations, and other service providers.

At the conclusion of the ICC Annual Conference, the decisions made by Terrence Richardson of the Chickasaw Nation and other governmental representatives from around the world are formatted for inclusion in the 2012 edition of the ICC’s International Codes that will be released in late 2011. The building officials, architects, engineers, product manufacturers, and other industry professionals that attended the conference go back home to continue their work of making buildings safe and protecting those who live in their communities.

“I am proud to be able to represent the Chickasaw Nation at the ICC Annual Conference,” Richardson said. “My ultimate satisfaction is in knowing that the decisions that come out of these meetings will help protect the citizens of the Chickasaw Nation and people throughout the United States and in other nations.”

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