On December 6, 2016 it was announced that the proposed tiny house building code RB 168-16 Appendix V was approved by the ICC voting base and is now subject to certification by the Validation Committee and confirmation by the ICC Board of Directors.
So what does this mean for tiny home builders and owners in Michigan? Well, in the immediate future not much is going to change in terms of how one should construct a tiny home. But for the long term, the appendix approval is a sign of what is to come in terms of a long awaited set of tiny house building standards. Tiny home builders, owners, zoning administrators, and building inspectors will soon have a guiding document to answer many of the questions that have fallen into a grey area for those involved with or exposed to the tiny house movement.
In February 2016, Michigan adopted the 2015 Residential Building code, and according to the process below, the tiny house appendix will be contained within the 2018 Residential Building Code and available for adoption and enforcement in early 2019. Now that the ICC has approved the appendix, it is now up to each states local government to adopt the new code at their next code adoption cycle. For Michigan, that cycle occurs every three years according to an excerpt from page 4 of the ICC Code Adoption Toolkit, which states the following:
“The Michigan Construction and Fire Codes are promulgated by the Bureau of Construction Codes Commission and State Fire Safety Board, and are evaluated for revisions or modifications every three years. Once codes have been passed by those bodies, the regulations must be approved by the State Legislature. The code adoption process follows the I-Code three year cycle, with a target effective date in January one year following the release of the new I-Codes. Codes are updated as needed every year.”
Below is a link to the ICC Code Adoption Toolkit that outlines the Michigan building code adoption procedure as well as the procedure followed by all other states that choose to adopt the ICC building codes.
ICC Code Adoption Tool Kit
For those that are unfamiliar with the new tiny house build code appendix, I have also included a link to the appendix for future reference that outlines what has been approved for the 2018 Residential Building Code.
Tiny House Building Code RB-168-16 Appendix V