• Posted On: August 18, 2015

Who Develops Building Codes and Why They Differ

Civic leaders have been guarding the public safety through prescribed building codes and regulation for many years. Today’s building codes ensure that structures will withstand severe weather, frequent use and natural events. They also function as our best protection against the potentially disastrous results of poor workmanship.

A Long-term Public Concern

Though construction sites have operated under supervision long before our own nation was built, it’s worth noting that our country’s forefathers were interested in standardizing build practices in order to safeguard the public. George Washington advocated for the establishment of building codes. Codifying acceptable construction practices has helped to define what constitutes a safe and habitable structure since the earliest days of our nation.

Over the next one hundred plus years, American communities continued to refine the standards for safety. Many times codes were developed through the collective wisdom of builders, architects, fire marshals and government. Today, that tradition continues with the addition of scientific voices. In this way communities continue to benefit from past experience as well as new understandings about how to make structures where we live, work, shop, worship and recreate as safe as possible.

Why Codes Differ

Building codes are not the same from coast to coast because each region must accommodate its own set of safety concerns. Areas of the nation prone to tornadoes must resist different forces than homes built in hurricane, flood or earthquake zones. Different environmental conditions also affect coding. At the same time, many basic standard practices are in place all across the nation.

Who Pays for Building Code Development and Oversight

Since building code enforcement is the responsibility of government it is funded through the government’s right to tax. Often this is accomplished through fees on various aspects of the building process. Thus, those who build pay for the cost of keeping buildings safe. Not only must safety codes be written, but code enforcement officers must then make on-site visits to ensure that codes are being properly followed. When they are not, fines are issued to encourage builders or property owners to come quickly into compliance.

If you are a civic leader, you know how important it is to keep codes as current as possible. This means that building codes should be frequently updated. It also means that enforcement officers need to be on hand to make sure that new policies are understood and followed. The public may not immediately appreciate the importance of this public service, but you feel the responsibility.

At Comcate, we develop software specifically to help government perform its appointed tasks with greater effectiveness and efficiency. We encourage you to check out our building code software that will make officers better able to stay on top of their workload, perform more efficiently and with better result. You don’t have to take our word for it. Check out the testimonials of other civic leaders who’ve used our tools and experienced positive results.

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