• Posted On: September 29, 2015

Making Building Code Inspection More Affordable Can Keep Safety a Priority

Building codes have long been mainly a state or regional matter. For years industry advocates have been working to realize universal adoption of national building code standards. In the past 15 years more and more states have moved toward a standardized building code model. But interruptions in adoption seems tied to decreases in construction rates.

A National Code

Standardization is important because it guarantees that the best materials will be used to construct the safest structures (commercial and residential) possible. As knowledge and experience grow, codes evolve to reflect the best possible building practices. That is good for everyone. Consider, for example, the benefits communities which decided to require sprinkler systems in all new residential construction have experienced. Those communities have seen lives saved (in some cases with zero lives lost since implementation) and an 80 percent reduction in property damage due to fire.

Enforcement is Key

The money to pay for building code oversight is often generated through issuance of permits and other associated fees. The system works well so long as building rates remain strong. Unfortunately, this system means that when construction slows, funding for an inspection dries up. Add to this the expense of reviewing new codes for local application and the cost of updated training for agents and you can quickly find yourself in a budgetary pinch.

Budget Constraints

How to compensate for construction downturns is a major question. Few municipalities can ask taxpayers to fund the cost disparity between collected fees and budgetary shortfalls. Too often, governments decide to postpone new code adoption and reduce the number of building code inspectors on staff to make up for the difference. However, there is a better way around the problem.

Untie Yourself From Construction Rates

What if you could help your current staff of building code inspectors get more done in a day? That would increase revenue and reduce the need to cut personnel. If each officer were equipped to maximize their time in the field and speed up the process of site inspection, notification, warning and court action, then temporary lulls in construction wouldn’t mean less safety for citizens.

Comcate is a company founded by people who’ve been in the trenches. We know what it is like to balance the competing weights of fiscal responsibility and community welfare. That’s why we’ve designed software tools especially for communities who need to do more without spending more. Our building code software is that kind of tool.

We can help your code enforcement agents get more done with faster results. It’s like having more agents without having to pay for new hires. Contact us and find out how we can help your community stay up-to-date in terms of building code safety. Your safety levels don’t need to rise and fall with the housing market. Let us show you how to keep safety predictable.

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