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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 7, 2013 02:45 PM
From: Representative Ryan P. Aument
To: All House members
Subject: Reintroduction of Legislation - Amending the Industrialized Housing Act - Former House Bill 2628 ~ 2011-2012 Legislative Session
Please find attached legislation which represents a reintroduction of my legislation from last session (House Bill 2628) which amends the Industrialized Housing Act to clearly give the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) the power to issue regulations to create a certification program for the construction/installation of industrialized commercial buildings. I originally introduced this legislation at the request of DCED and the industrialized housing industry, and it passed the House unanimously last October.

It is first important to note that a substantial part of the industrialized commercial construction industry supplies components/buildings for commercial uses, such as prisons, schools, and retail stores. There is no exclusion for this part of the industry from UCC requirements. Thus, modular building plans are subject to plan review by the Department of Labor and Industry or local municipalities which have "opted in" to enforce UCC. Technically, a code administrator could insist on inspecting modular components, thus leading to possible destruction or damage of components.

Prior to 2009, the Industrialized Housing Act only covered residential industrialized housing, and it regulated this type of housing by allowing residential industrialized housing that carried a required certification "label" to be presumed to have been manufactured in accordance with the required national building codes. Plan review/inspection of such structures was (and is) carried out by approved state/third party agencies and not by local UCC officials.

The industrialized commercial building industry desired to have its construction certified (at the factory) in the same manner as residential industrialized housing. In 2009 the Legislature passed Senate Bill 195 (Waugh), which became Act 6 of 2009. The purpose of this bill was to amend the Industrialized Housing Act to permit industrialized commercial housing to be certified in a similar manner as residential industrial housing. Act 6 authorized DCED to enter into interstate agreements, which, in essence, would permit DCED to enter into an existing multi-state compact known as the "Interstate Compact on Industrialized/Modular Buildings," which would ensure timely review and approval of modular building plan and subsequent factory inspections. The existing compact has the states of New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Minnesota as members; and it has a standing "Industrialized Buildings Commission" (this Commission certifies third party agencies that conduct plan reviews/inspections). The commercial industrialized/modular buildings industry wanted (and still wants) Pennsylvania to join this compact.

In the fall of 2011, DCED sent proposed regulations to implement Act 6 to the Attorney General's office for review before submitting to IRRC. These regulations proposed amending the current industrialized residential housing regulations (Title 12 Pa. Code Ch. 145 et seq.) to include regulation of industrialized commercial buildings, including certification and installation.

The Attorney General subsequently opined that the Industrialized Housing Act, as amended by Act 6, does not give DCED the clear statutory authority to issue regulations governing the "installation" of industrialized/commercial buildings (AG opined that Act 6 only gives DCED power to enter into interstate certification labeling program). Both DCED and the industrialized commercial building industry believe Act 6 did give DCED complete authority. However, in order to clarify the issue, I introduced this legislation.

Lastly, it is important to note that DCED, PA State Association of Township Supervisors, PA Association of Building Code Officials, PA State Association of Boroughs, and Modular Building Institute all support this bill. Again, the bill passed the House with no opposition last session.

Previous Cosponsor: Miller

View Attachment

Introduced as HB124