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The Role of the SEAOH

As described in the Building Codes Approval Process section below, a 2007 law establishes that one voting member of the state building code council will be a representative of the SEAOH. In support of the State Building Code adoption process, the SEAOH building code committee is currently reviewing the 2012 International Building Code (IBC) and 2012 International Residential Code (IRC). Background information on the proposed amendments is provided below.

If you would like to participate in this process, members of SEAOH should contact one of the committee members listed below. The general public is welcome to propose amendments directly to the State Building Code Council by using the proposal form at the bottom of the SBCC’s website


Current members of the SEAOH building code committee

Lyle Carden (Chair)
Gaur Johnson
Aaron Erickson
Afaq Sarwar
Beverly Ishii-Nakayama
Brian Enomoto
Brian Ide
Clayton Hayes
Fernando Frontera
Ian Robertson
Joshua Tyau
Mike Greer
Scot Listavich
Steve Baldridge

Background Information on Amendments

The current State Building Code and Building Codes adopted by all four counties is based on amendments of the 2006 IBC. The documents listed below provide technical background to the most significant changes. These documents are posted here only to provide the context of the work done by members of the building code committee. The issues included in these documents will be carried forward in the discussion during the current 2012 IBC and IRC review cycle.



Free Access to IBC, IRC and IEBC are available at the ICC website


Building Codes Approval Process

In the State of Hawaii, the building codes governing structural engineering work has been varied. There have been times in the past where each of the four counties were using a different model building code. Structural engineers would need to design to current and legacy codes with local amendments. This created a burden on the design and construction industry–design and inspection requirements varied between counties. To remedy this situation, in 2007, the state legislature created the State Building Code Council (SBCC) who is responsible for reviewing and amending current national model building codes. The council is comprised of representatives from across government and the design and construction industry. Of particular importance, the four county building officials must unanimously agree to the adopted codes. If any one of the the county building officials do not agree, the language must be changed.

Once amendments are approved by the council, Administrative Rules are written and given to the Governor for review and signature. If signed into law, all state projects then are required to be designed to the new state building code. The counties then have two years to review and make local amendments. If a county chooses not take action, the state building code becomes effective in the county. The beauty of the law creating the SBCC is that the county building officials help to write the state building code and they hold veto power during that process so they will be prepared to either (a) quickly adopt the new law or (b) know what local amendments they require for their jurisdiction. Also, by working together each county does not need to devote scarce resources to undertake a rigorous review of new building codes on their own. They better protect their constituents by keeping up to date with current building codes which are designed to protect live and property.

More information about the State Building Code Council can be found at their website



Contact Us

PO Box 3348

Honolulu, Hawaii 96801



SEAOH is the Structural Engineers Association of Hawaii, a charter member of the National Council of Structural Engineers Association (NCSEA). SEAOH is a non-profit, member-driven organization that pursues the common interests of practicing structural engineers and others sharing an interest in the activities of structural engineers.

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