Due to unintended consequences, proposal G170-15 could lead the International Code Council (ICC) to prevent use of fire retardant wood in load-bearing exterior walls of Types III and IV construction. Builders would be forced to switch to concrete, masonry or heavy timber walls, or cold-formed steel construction to achieve the same building height and number of stories.
While the ICC was originally a proponent of this proposal, it has withdrawn support. NAHB is now urging a vote of disproval and explains how the ICC's Building Code Action Committee (BCAC) reached this point:
The BCAC drafted G170-15 to consolidate in a single list the allowances for combustible elements within buildings of Type I and II construction and for combustible materials within exterior bearing walls of Type III and IV construction. It did not intend to make technical changes to any of the existing allowances.
NAHB and the American Wood Council are urging building officials to vote against this. We should vote for it!