Creating Building Code Departments for a Stronger Louisiana

By May 1, 2008

May 01, 2008 – Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Background – Act 335

Signed into law by Governor Kathleen Blanco on July 9, 2007, Louisiana Act 335 requires that all jurisdictions provide for plan reviews and inspections on all residential and commercial structures constructed in the state. Act 335 preempts many parish ordinances that provided Louisiana citizens with the capabilities of signing “self-certification” affidavits serving as notification of compliance with the Uniform Construction Codes.

The Formation of a Baton Rouge Branch Office

IBTS went into action, initially forming a branch office in Baton Rouge to assist the many jurisdictions that would have to work to implement the mandatory enforcement of the building codes. Before any contracts were signed for services, IBTS provided grant writing assistance to each jurisdiction, in order to help them obtain the necessary funding to begin the process of developing an effective building code department.

The Formation of a Second Branch Office in Bossier City

In the months that followed, IBTS was awarded contracts to provide for full building department services in the Parishes of Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Union, Lincoln, Jackson, Bienville, Franklin, Caldwell and Madison, and the municipalities of Simsboro, Grambling, Springhill, Arcadia, Benton, Haughton and Plain Dealing. IBTS opened a second branch office in Bossier City on November 1, 2007, to assist with the rebuilding efforts in the northern half of the state. IBTS immediately staffed up the Bossier City office with three Certified Building Officials and a North Louisiana Branch Manager dedicated to ensuring the successful implementation and execution of these building code departments.

IBTS is providing a full range of building department services, ranging from permit issuance to Certificate of Occupancy issuance to monitoring of third party providers working within the contracted jurisdictions.

Outreach and Education Workshops

In order to help the implementation of these building departments, IBTS has hosted and conducted Code Outreach and Education Workshops for citizens and contractors on the newly implemented Louisiana State Uniform Construction Codes in each jurisdiction. IBTS Certified Building Officials conduct a Citizens’ Workshop to provide education on the new building department processes and the steps required to obtain a building permit to construct a new residential structure. Contractor Outreach Workshops are conducted throughout the course of an entire day, focusing on each of the trades required to construct residential and commercial structures.

IBTS has obtained excellent results by providing the full range of services needed to implement building code department procedures from start to finish, taking into consideration all aspects of the concerns of citizens and government officials.