Understanding Building Code Basics

Understanding Building Code Basics

Are you up-to-date on all current building codes? Building codes focus on the important safety, health, and environmental protection concerns of society. Following codes during the initial design and construction phase can determine maintenance costs, quality, safety, and energy performance of the building. While some things within a building plan are easily replaceable, most aspects can be very hard to change without a significant impact to the building once construction is complete.

All codes are very important for a building’s safety and efficiency.  Some aspects can affect the employees and customers of a business without notice such as light quality, acoustics and airflow. Unfortunately, these are some of the most overlooked aspects of a building’s quality. More obvious requirements include fire safety codes and structural and seismic standards.

When constructing a building, it is important not to cut corners for both legal and financial reasons. Model codes are a set of minimum requirements for a building’s design and construction that help us “build it right” the first time. These requirements ensure that a structure will protect public health, safety, and natural resources.

When creating and discussing building codes, the U.S. code development process gathers all interested parties to determine what is needed and feasible for the construction of new buildings. Building codes make our communities more livable, resilient and sustainable by offering an enhanced protection against possible threats of natural disasters and terrorism, which can in turn lower the price of mitigation for building owners.

Model codes give the construction team guidance on how to achieve all of these goals and give the insurance industry a baseline for estimating and managing risk. They also help lower and control the cost of insurance premiums. Energy codes, at a time when best practices for sustainable design are widely known and taught, are making a major contribution toward solving our energy needs and can substantially affect the value of your building.

Following and enforcing building codes helps prevent unnecessary and costly modifications. When considering the construction of a new building it is extremely important to be up-to-date on all requirements to ensure that your building will meet code when construction is complete. See all of the current building codes by visiting the International Code Council’s website. http://www.iccsafe.org/codes-tech-support/codes/2015-i-codes/ibc/