What is ECOBA?

The East Central Ohio Building Authority (ECOBA) is a local building department, certified by the State of Ohio Board of Building Standards to enforce the Ohio Building Code for all commercial and industrial buildings. As a division of the Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County, ECOBA is a self-funded, non-profit organization.

The Tuscarawas County Commissioners created The Building Department in response to requests by many building owners, contractors and designers to provide a local, more responsive alternative to the State of Ohio for commercial and industrial plan approval and inspection services.

Benefits of having a local building department include: Walk-through plan approval or reduced shelf time; fast inspection response; face-to-face interaction; consistent interpretation; partnering with building owner, designer and contractor; collaboration with zoning departments and fire officials; and the revenues remain local.

As we look to the future, we see tremendous growth opportunities for growth in Tuscarawas and Holmes counties. The East Central Ohio Building Authority is here to facilitate that economic growth, serve the public’s building safety and health concerns, and is committed to fostering a partnership between building owners, designers, contractors and the ECOBA.

Download Plan Examination and Inspection Policy.

Ohio Building Code

The first building code written for application throughout the State of Ohio was adopted in 1911 to regulate the construction, repair, alterations, additions, sanitation and fire protection for public buildings. In 1955 the Ohio General Assembly created the Ohio Board of Building Standards to formulate the building code requirements and the Ohio Board of Building Appeals. The Ohio Basic Building Codes based on BOCA became effective on July 1, 1979. Since 1998 Ohio codes have been based on national model codes by International Code Council (ICC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Our current codes:

Building Standards CodesEffective 11/1/17Model Code
Ohio Building CodeOBC 2017(IBC 2015)
Ohio Mechanical CodeOMC 2017(IMC 2015)
Ohio Plumbing CodeOPC 2017(IPC 2015)
National Electrical CodeNEC 2017(NFPA 70 2017)
Ohio Fire CodeOFC 2011(IFC 2009)
Residential Code of OhioRCO 2013(IRC 2009)

Code of Ethics

Certified Building Officials Code of Ethics

The protection of life, health and property is a solemn responsibility of the highest order. Individuals engaged in the administration and enforcement of building regulatory codes shall uphold a standard of professional behavior that exemplifies the highest ideals and principles of ethical conduct. The governing concepts embodied in this philosophy are characterized herein below, for the benefit and guidance of those so engaged, and for the enlightenment of the public served.

The Certified Building Official shall:

  • Place the public’s welfare above all other interests and recognize that the chief function of government is to serve the best interests of all people. Demonstrate integrity, honesty and fairness in all transactions and constantly strive for excellence in all matters of ethical conduct.
  • Recognize the continuing need for developing improved safety standards for the protection of life, health and property, and acknowledge a professional obligation to contribute time and expertise in the development of such improvements.
  • Maintain professional competence in all areas of employment responsibility and encourage the same in associates at all levels.
  • Accept no personal favors for public services rendered and conscientiously avoid all circumstances that could compromise professional integrity.

Organizational Structure

ECOBA Organizational Structure

ECOBA was formed by the Tuscarawas County Commissioners and is administered by the Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County.


ED&FA Board of Directors

The Building Authority is a division of The Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County. The ED&FA's Board of Directors oversees the Building Authority.

Members of the Board are listed on the Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County website.


Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is an ad-hoc committee that assisted in the development of the original department policies, procedures and structure, and now provides oversight for the department.

Feel free to contact Advisory Board members with questions or concerns about the ECOBA service or personnel. The board meets quarterly at the Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County office.

Advisory Board Members:

Dave Lawless, Dover Tank & Plate
Dick Fisher, R. Fisher Architects, LLC
Doug Peterman, Peterman Plumbing, Inc.
Harry A. Eadon Jr., Executive Director, Economic Development and Finance Alliance of Tuscarawas County
Larry Wood, Wood Electric, Inc.
Mark Weaver, Ivan Weaver Construction
Michael Lehman, Engineer
Tom Haugh, Benchmark Construction

Building Department

Duties of the Building Official include:

  • Code Enforcement
  • Applications
  • Plan Review
  • Plan Approval
  • Issuance of Notices and Orders
  • Cause Inspections
  • Approve Alternate Methods and Materials
  • Department Management
  • Selection of Inspection Staff

Duties of the Plans Examiner include:

  • Examination of Construction Documents
  • Certification Exams (ICC)
  • Building Plans Examiner
  • Electrical Plans Examiner
  • Mechanical Plans Examiner