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HBA Advocacy Update

Fargo inspections meeting, Survey results from Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, updates from Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry

Updates from Fargo Inspections meeting

HBA leadership and staff have been in correspondence with the Fargo Inspections Department regarding recent code changes and questions. Here are some updates to share:

HBA of F-M sent a letter in November urging Fargo to reconsider the R15 insulation requirement in basements. Previously, this was set at R13 batts. The inspections department explained that the choice to raise it to R15 came from a desire to update the code incrementally instead of a significant jump in the future. To note: per the code, 1 inch of spray foam and R13 insulation is an acceptable alternative to R15.

Blower Door Testing: Nearly all tests conducted from July permits have passed; whether it will be done again will be determined once the data is reviewed. 

Concrete: 5000 PSI footing concrete is NOT a requirement in Fargo.

Manuals J & S: The Inspections Department sent out a memorandum and "how to” to all mechanical contractors. We shared this in the Dec. 2 advocacy update. The documents need to be submitted at the mechanical permit time.

Permit fees: In 2022, Fargo decided to have an annual permit fee increase over a five-year span. This will be a 12-15% increase over the five years.

FM Diversion Future Impacts: Given that it will still be some time before the diversion is completed, there is no anticipation of changing floodproof basements, elevating lots, etc. soon. If there are any changes, they would take place after the certification of the diversion which is likely ten or more years out.

We appreciate having conversations to address questions and concerns and look forward to continued cooperation with the city of Fargo.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis releases results from November Construction Survey

The survey consisted of nonresidential/commercial, residential, infrastructure/heavy and industrial sectors. 276 responses were received, mainly from the Twin Cities/Minnesota. 

Some top takeaways were:

  • Revenues trending negative, but not for everyone
  • Profits are widely lower
  • Residential seeing significantly tougher conditions 
  • Industrial is seeing the best conditions
  • Future concerns: Increase in project cancellations, reduction in backlogs and new projects out for bid
  • Challenging conditions, w/ interest rates added to mix
  • Outlook has declined, but hasn’t fallen off the table

View the results in various formats below:

PowerPoint: here

Presentation via YouTube: here

Summary of Results: here

Spreadsheet of results by question and sector: here

View the winter 2022 edition of the Minnesota Construction Codes & Licensing Division (CCLD) Review

Click here to read the newsletter. 

The edition includes the following:

  • Celebrating 50 years of the State Building Code
  • New launch date for web-based licensing system
  • Plan review, permit fee reduction period ending
  • Residential building contractor continuing education reminder
  • Private residence elevators subject to safety recall
  • Plumbing questions and answers 

and more! 

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