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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XX PUBLIC SAFETY AND GOOD ORDER
  • CHAPTER 143 INSPECTION AND REGULATION OF, AND LICENSES FOR, BUILDINGS, ELEVATORS AND CINEMATOGRAPHS
  • Section 94 Powers and duties

Section 94. The board shall have the following powers and duties:

(a) To formulate, propose, adopt and amend rules and regulations relating to (i) the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, demolition, removal, inspection, issuance and revocation of permits or licenses, installation of equipment, classification and definition of any building or structure and use or occupancy of all buildings and structures and parts thereof or classes of buildings and structures and parts thereof, except bridges and appurtenant supporting structures which have been or are to be constructed by or are under the custody and control of the department of highways, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the metropolitan district commission or the Massachusetts Port Authority or for which said agencies have maintenance responsibility; (ii) the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing buildings; (iii) the standards or requirements for materials to be used in connection therewith, including but not limited to provisions for safety, ingress and egress, energy conservation, and sanitary conditions; (iv) the establishment of reasonable fees for inspections, which fees shall be collected and retained by the city or town conducting such inspections.

Such rules and regulations, together with any penalties for the violation thereof, as hereinafter provided, shall comprise and be collectively known as the state building code.

Whoever violates any provision of the state building code, except any specialized code as described in section ninety-six, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for each such violation. Each day during which a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) To subpoena witnesses, take testimony, compel production of books and records and to hold public hearings. The board may designate one or more of its members to hold special public hearings and report on such hearings to the board.

(c) To make a continuing study of the operation of the state building code, and other laws relating to the construction of buildings to ascertain their effect upon the cost of building construction and the effectiveness of their provisions for health, safety, energy conservation and security.

(d) To recommend or require tests and approvals and specify criteria and conditions, of materials, devices, and methods of construction, either upon the initiative of the board or at the request of any interested person including, but not limited to, a manufacturer, builder, architect, engineer, inspector of buildings or building commissioner or local or state inspector, in order to ascertain the acceptability of said materials, devices and methods under the requirements of the state building code. The board shall issue certification of such acceptability, which certification shall be binding on all cities and towns.

(e) To review, on its own initiative or on the application of any inspector of buildings or building commissioner or of any local or state inspector, any interpretation under the state building code, and to reverse, modify or annul, in whole or in part, such interpretations except with respect to the specialized codes as defined in section ninety-six.

(f) To establish an advisory board to be known as the technical code council, to assist in and make recommendations relative to formulation, promulgation and administration of the state building code. Said council shall be convened regularly by the chief of inspections and shall establish its own rules for the conduct of its business. Said council shall include a representative from each state department, commission, agency, board, or division concerned with the state building code, including specialized codes referred to in section ninety-six, and such other members as may be determined by the board.

(g) To formulate administrative procedures and promulgate rules and regulations necessary to administer and enforce the state building code.

(h) To revise and amend the state building code exclusive of the specialized codes referred to in section ninety-six, at least once every five years, and to send a copy of such revisions or amendments to each inspector of buildings or building commissioner in every city or town and to each state inspector.

(i) To issue licenses to individuals engaged as construction supervisors. Fees for such licenses shall be collected and retained by the commonwealth.

(j) To designate and retain, where advisable, certain qualified third party agents to perform screening, testing, or technical services to the board to carry out its mandates.

(k) To develop requirements and promulgate regulations for the certification of inspectors of buildings, building commissioners and local inspectors pursuant to section three and to issue a certificate to individuals who meet said requirements.

(l) To prepare courses of instruction or approve courses of instruction offered by others for training persons for certification as inspectors of buildings, building commissioners or local inspectors.

(m) To develop requirements and approve courses of instruction to be offered by others relative to the continuing education of individuals licensed as construction supervisors.

(n) To establish a continuing education advisory council to assist and make recommendations to the board relative to the formulation, promulgation and administration of requirements for the continuing education of individuals licensed as construction supervisors. The council shall consist of: the commissioner of public safety, or his designee; 2 licensed construction supervisors who shall also be members of the Home Builders Association of Massachusetts; 1 licensed construction supervisor who shall also be a member of the eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; and 3 members to be appointed by the commissioner, 2 of whom shall be certified building inspectors and 1 of whom shall be an instructor in residential construction technology at a public or private college or university. The commissioner shall be chairperson of the council which shall meet regularly and may establish its own rules for the conduct of its business. The members of the council shall not be compensated for their services but shall be reimbursed for travel and other expenses necessary for the performance of their duties. The board may provide technical and clerical assistance to the council.

(o) To adopt and fully integrate the latest International Energy Conservation Code as part of the state building code, together with any more stringent energy-efficiency provisions that the board, in consultation with the department of energy resources, concludes are warranted. The energy provisions of the state building code shall be updated within 1 year of any revision to the International Energy Conservation Code.

(p) In consultation with the department of energy resources, to develop requirements and promulgate regulations as part of the state building code for the training and certification of city and town inspectors of buildings, building commissioners and local inspectors regarding the energy provisions of the state building code, and to require that all new construction and any major reconstruction, alteration or repair of residential and non-residential buildings pass inspection by inspectors who have been trained and certified, demonstrating full compliance with the energy provisions of the state building code.

(q) In consultation with the department of energy resources, to develop requirements and promulgate regulations as part of the state building code, in addition to the requirements of the latest International Energy Conservation Code, requiring a process to ensure that all new non-residential buildings larger than 10,000 square feet and any major reconstruction, alteration or repair of all such buildings perform as designed with respect to energy consumption by undergoing building commissioning or acceptance testing. Such commissioning must be completed before the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

(r) In consultation with the department of energy resources, professional organizations and other stakeholders, to prepare a report evaluating the advisability of a requirement of periodic commissioning for large non-residential buildings and, if such a requirement is deemed advisable, evaluating possible approaches to periodic commissioning.