A proposed requirement that all newly constructed homes have sprinkler systems in order to meet most building codes survived a challenge by the National Association of Home Builders.

Members of the International Code Council, which writes the code that is recognized and adopted by almost every state, county, and city nationwide, soundly defeated the amendment supported by the home builders to delay the sprinkler implementation requirement from 2011 to 2012 and then make it an option rather than a mandate. The home builders say requiring sprinklers would add several thousand dollars to the cost of a new home.

Supporters of the sprinkler requirement considered the vote last week at the code council's annual meeting in Baltimore to be a strong bellwether because it means that removing the sprinkler proposal from the code that is up for final approval in May would require a two-thirds majority.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Jamie Smith Hopkins (10/31/2009)