Upon recommendation of the Community Development and Fire Departments, the Rolla City Council is considering taking a new look at the building codes currently followed by the city.

Essentially, according to the proposal given to the city council, the review would determine which set of codes would best fit the community. 


The city currently follows the International Building Codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC), these codes are crafted with several goals, according to council documents. These are summed up as the safeguarding of public health, safety and welfare, and to provide for the safety of firefighters and other emergency responders. 


According to the commentary included in the ordinance, the adoption of new building codes often removes unnecessary regulations and hardships. The city currently follows codes that are well over a decade old. 


“It is the intent of staff to provide the citizens of Rolla with up-to-date construction practices, safer buildings and allow for newer sustainable materials not available under the current code,” reads the commentary. 

Benefits of updated codes


The proposal given to the city council listed several reasons why it is beneficial to look at adopting new codes on a regular basis. 


1. Codes enhance economic development though materials research, design and construction.


2. Codes streamline the building regulatory system


3. Long-term costs are minimized


4. Increased energy efficiency


5. Up-to-date safety codes can prevent loss of life in emergencies


6. Ensures water is not wasted in plumbing


7. Helps structures to be built right the first time



The council unanimously approved to have city staff look at updated ICC codes. According to council documents, the goal is to “adopt the newest version of the ICC codes that will have the least amount of impact on the contractors and developers while providing for the safety and welfare of our citizens.” 


Adopting newer codes could also bring Rolla’s Insurance Service Office (ISO) rating up, and be “more in line with the neighboring communities,” according to the documents.