What Is the Building Code

Building codes are fascinating, and no two are the same. Most municipal authorities require that builders obtain a permit to construct or renovate a building. This is issued when a project is deemed to meet all the necessary provisions of the applicable building code.

Both the United States and Canada have national building codes. States and provinces fine tune these codes to suit their own purposes.

Local governments — charged with the authority to implement, regulate, and enforce the codes — can fine tune them even further. Regional variations to the codes usually address specific climatic concerns such as seismic activity, snow loads, depth of frost penetration, as well as zoning or property use issues. Considerations such as minimum and maximum building size, appearance restrictions, and water and waste management are also decided regionally. A building permit, once issued, provides information to the municipality for the assessment of property taxes.

Straw bale building is not currently prescribed by any national building codes, although some state and regional prescriptions do now exist in the United States, including all, or parts, ofArizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico. Some European countries are also beginning to set standards. As the demand for straw bale structures grows, more national, state, provincial, and regional building codes will begin to adopt provisions for straw bale construction, and the process of obtaining permits will be greatly simplified. Until then, most straw bale builders will have to apply for permits on a case-by-case basis.

0 0

Post a comment