Insurance company losses have led to the development of such building codes and national standards.
Loss of life and property become perilous to national welfare
Lowering of Loss prevention has reduced risks in construction and lower interest rates and stimulated more safer buildings
FM Global (Rhode Island Roots!) has produced industry standards and ongoing research to prevent loss and raise buildng d standards.
protection of the innocent
public safety and welfare
Code history is being continuously rewritten as we experience natural and manmade disasters
With every major disaster there will arise demands for improved codes and better enforcement of them:
The Station Night Club Disaster
has generated a new fire code for assemblies and gathering spaces
Hurricane Katrina will likely spur on more stringent enforcement of construction inspection in rural areas and items like the strength of garage doors may be reconsidered as forensics show the failures of these allowed buildings to become vulnerable to uplift pressures.
Earthquakes in California and elsewhere are continuing to develop the structural codes for lateral bracing and shear walls.
Coordination of local or geographical codes is also becoming an issue leading to a unified International Building Code (IBC)
They tell you (prescribe) what you must do at a minimum.
For example :
Minimum setbacks for house placement on a lot (Zoning Code)
Use of panic hardware at exits for over 50 persons (Building Code)
However, the trend in theory and practice is towards Performance Based Codes
Discretionary Planning approvals in land use:
Special Permits approved by public boards
Overlay districts (historical, transit based development, view and hillside protection.
Discretionary Planning approvals in land use
on a case by case basis, not “as of right”
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
Provides guidelines for achieving ratings of environmental impact reduction
Local governments adopt their own mix of standard “model” codes and often add their own local amendments to meet local needs or politics This is usually statewide but often major cities add their own adopted local statues as well (the ARCHITECT/BUILDER must be vigilant to find out all local laws governing the project)
Local codes respond to local concerns but also need to be compatible with national standards to allow uniformity of design standards, building products, design education and reciprocity of architects and design professionals to work in various locations
Grandfathered Existing Buildings in the v zone the 50% rule
Section 22.214.171.124 Determination of substantially improved or substantially damaged existing buildings, in flood hazard areas: if Value of proposed work (code related-not finishes and fixtures) equals or exceeds 50% the value of the structure-it must comply with new code