Home Builders Oppose Mandate of Indoor Sprinklers in Draft Building Code

31 Oct 2013 10:02 AM | Colleen Corrigan (Administrator)
CMBA President, Gary Bechtold - in response to Draft Minnesota Building Code; following publication by the Department of Labor and Industry in the Minnesota State Register

The Builders Association of Minnesota (BAM) and Central Minnesota Builders Association (CMBA) along with other business groups strongly oppose the costly and unnecessary home indoor sprinkler mandate included in the draft Minnesota Building Code released October 28th by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI). The mandate would require indoor sprinklers to be placed in all new single-family homes that are 4,500 square feet and larger, including basements, covered porches and other unfinished space.

The proposed home indoor sprinkler mandate is a costly and unnecessary government regulation that would negatively impact consumers and the housing industry. In both 2011 and 2012 a bipartisan majority of legislators passed and sent bills to Governor Dayton to remove the mandate from the code. Both bills were vetoed. In a Minnesota State Survey 86% of Minnesotans said indoor sprinklers should remain a homeowner’s choice. Additionally, DLI’s Residential Code Advisory Committee voted twice to remove the sprinkler mandate from the state building code. The committee’s decision was not incorporated in the draft code.  

“This is unnecessary government overreach, plain and simple,” said BAM President Chad Kompelien. “Minnesota’s homes are among the safest in the country, and the public, the Legislature, and industry experts have all spoken loud and clear. They don’t want this mandate. New homes built under today’s code are exceptionally safe, and homeowners should not be burdened by a redundant, costly and unnecessary mandate.”

BAM estimates an indoor sprinkler system mandate would increase the cost of a new four-bedroom, three-bathroom home by at least $9,000. For homes on a private well, as many are across the state, the added cost can be as high as $13,000 or more when factoring in the cost of wells and water pumps. The estimate does not include ongoing costs, maintenance issues, or the cost if the system should malfunction.

“A costly and unnecessary government mandate like this will hurt homebuyers and the economic recovery. Not only is this mandate unneeded; it’s expensive, said CMBA President, Gary Bechtold. “Forcing homeowners to spend thousands of needless dollars on a home that is already safe is not good public policy.”  

What can you do?
We've created an online petition
nosprinklermandatemn.com for the home building industry. Please take a look and sign the petition and pass it along to your industry peers. We want to be sure we are heard!

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