A New Front Opens in the Code Battles

The confrontation over resilient construction practices is just a continuation of the age-old battle between those who search for ways to maximize short term profits versus those who choose to deliver lasting value.
Jun 24, 2016 7:00 AM ET

Another battlefront is taking shape on the already crowded fields of conflict that define the relationship between the regulatory sector and the homebuilding industry.  This is in no way intended to suggest that the ongoing battles around energy codes, proposed fire sprinkler mandates, storm water management, wetlands designations, silica rules, endangered species, updated overtime compensation requirements, and a host of others have been resolved, or that they have even been quieted significantly.  We simply have another brewing fight to add to the list…the call for more resilient buildings.

Following a White House conference this Spring on how to pass building codes that provide more resilience, the response from a representative of the National Association of Home Builders echoed the familiar refrain that the codes have essentially been hijacked by the product manufacturers so that the poor beleaguered home builder will be forced to purchase their latest products in order to comply.  Soon after, the organization’s message to its members on the topic appeared benign enough, reporting simply that the White House event had taken place, but it also included the predictable assurance that the members’ interests would be looked after by vigilant monitoring of the situation.

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