Development of Regional Building Codes
In April of 1946 The League of Municipalities of St. Louis County, MO published the Building Code. The forward of that document reads as follows:
“For several years before the war, it became increasingly apparent to the building officials of the various municipalities in St. Louis County, Missouri, that, to eliminate confusion in the building industry, a uniform building code should be adopted by the county municipalities.
To that end, a special committee was appointed by the League of Municipalities of St. Louis County and, assisted by the building officials in the County and a representative of the County Plan Commission, this building code was compiled.
It has been approved by the League of Municipalities of St. Louis County, recommended to the member municipalities of the League and published for the purpose of having a uniform building code throughout St. Louis County.”
The 1946 building code was subsequently adopted by several communities including The City of University City which adopted the code on October 28, 1946.
Introduction of Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA)
The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) was formed in 1915 by code officials representing 9 states and Canada. The original purpose of the organization was to provide a forum to discuss common construction related issues and the application of various building code requirements. Over the years BOCA grew to an organization that developed construction codes addressing all of the various construction specialties. The 1950 BOCA Building code was adopted by St. Louis County in 1951.
Formation of MABI and MABOI
In the late 1940’s building inspectors in the St. Louis Metropolitan area formed the Missouri Association of Building Inspectors (MABI) to provide an opportunity for inspectors across the region to work together to cope with the rapidly changing construction environment. In 1952 MABI changed their name to the Missouri Association of Building Officials and Inspectors (MABOI). With this change membership in the organization grew significantly which resulted in the formation of regional chapters of the organization. There were two regional chapters of MABOI formed in response to the rapid expansion of the membership. One chapter was formed in the southwest portion of the State of Missouri with a second regional chapter forms in the northwest portion of the State of Missouri.
MABOI and BOCA
During the same period of time the BOCA organization was growing in size and continued to expand membership. The goals of BOCA evolved from its inception in 1915 to begin code development activities. As the membership grew, BOCA offered chapter status opportunities. In 1963 MABOI became charter chapter 3 of BOCA International. MABOI incorporated in the State of Missouri as a non-profit corporation in 1967.
MABOI was very active in the code development process from the early 1960’s through the 1999 code development cycle. Our members have been appointed to code development committees, certification exam development committees, code interpretation committees and elected to all positions on the BOCA Board of Directors.
The level of respect and trust which was developed between the two organizations is best illustrated by what took place in 1988. BOCA was in the process of finalizing the design of an addition to their headquarters building in Chicago when it was determined by the legal department that the corporation legal status needed to be revised prior to the construction starting on the addition. In order to accomplish these legal modifications the headquarters building needed to be sold to another party and re-purchased after the corporation was reorganized. During this time our own member, and former Director of Planning for the City of Clayton, actually owned the BOCA headquarters. This could only happen through the development of extraordinary trust both between organizations and individual members.
In 1990 MABOI undertook the BOCA Residential Inspector Training Program which represented a significant financial investment. This course included detailed instruction in 8 modules covering 7 days of instruction which include all of the plan review and inspections conducted during a typical residential construction project. This course was offered on an annual basis for several years.
In both 1991 and 1992 MABOI was the recipient of the BOCA Chapter of the Year award. It was a great honor for a chapter to achieve this high recognition once, much less two years concurrently. The close relationship between the two organizations persisted until the formation of the International Code Council (ICC) in 2000.
MABOI and the International Code Council (ICC)
With the formation of the ICC chapter status was once again achieved by MABOI. We continue to be active in the code development process on all levels and have endeavored to advance the protection of the public health, safety and welfare through code development, training and education.
Source: Joe Moore, Chair of the Historic Committee, October 11, 2014