Building codes protect you and your family from shoddy construction and high utility bills. Buildings constructed to meet the most up to date codes reduce utilities bills and put money back into your pockets

Safety: Building codes should ensure that your new or renovated building provides you with the best possible protection from fire, structural collapse, and deterioration. They can even make structures more resilient to natural disasters. Updated building codes are helpful when disaster strikes. Firemen and other first responders will know what to expect if a building is up to code. A more solid building will also be more likely to avoid damage from a nearby fire or collapse

 

Technology Gives Consumers Options: Modern building codes pave the way for a growing economy. For example, some cities have built electric vehicle readiness into new building codes. That means that when electric vehicles become more popular, building owners will only need to make minor adjustments to their buildings to accommodate the new types of vehicles as opposed to major infrastructure changes. It fosters consumer choice.

 

Modern Buildings Better Maintain Property Value: Building codes are also important because they protect the long-term value of your home. Homes that meet or exceed the most current codes require less heating and cooling, encounter fewer maintenance issues, and retain long-term value. The average U.S. home spends $2,175 on utility costs per year, which is over $180 per month. Technology has improved to help homeowners shrink those bills and they should be embedded in the building code.

 

Building and home owners should be aware of property value implications of building to code, or of making energy efficiency upgrades of any sort. First, many consumers are beginning to ask about energy expenses before buying or renting a building. There has been movement towards institutionalizing this with several bills in Congress that would require energy disclosure for financing and before sale. Second, a recent study by U.C. Berkely and U.C.L.A found that property values go up 5.5-9% when energy upgrades are completed. This is a sign that codes that ensure energy standards will insure home value. Property value maintenance will continue to improve as labeling becomes more pervasive. Third, there is a demonstrated benefit to energy efficient buildings in commercial real-estate. Tenants are much more likely to keep leases in buildings where energy costs are cheap, temperatures and air quality are comfortable, and safety is ensured.

 

Affordable Financing: Modern, energy efficient codes are more likely to attract national lenders to design financial products at reasonable rates for first time home buyers and working families. Compliance with a statewide building code that includes current nationally recognized energy standards may enable more homes to qualify for FHA, VA, or RHS financing, since federal mortgages require that new homes be built in compliance with the national model codes. Furthermore, The study, Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks, finds that, on average, default risks are 32 percent lower in energy-efficient homes than in non-energy efficient homes.

 

Operation Costs are Larger than Design and Building Costs: As a consumer, it is important to plan for both the up-front investment in designing and building your home and the cost to operate and maintain it over the course of the lifespan of the building. Design and construction is only 5-10% of the money spent on an average building over time. Dollars spent to build an efficient, safe, building that meets or surpasses building codes are quickly saved in avoided energy and maintenance costs. When amortized over a standard mortgage, owners usually realize net savings within the first year. Codes can guide your investment. For example, a building built under 2012 building codes is 15 percent more efficient than one built under 2009 building codes. Moreover, an assessment of building codes and property values found that building to updated building codes can increase building costs by at most 5% (Dehring 2006).

 

Increased Buying Power: Home buyers demand comfort, quality and energy efficiency. Building codes put dollars in the pockets of home buyers by reducing utility bills and increasing buying power. Dollars not spent on energy are available for better, more expensive housing, particularly for those in lower income brackets. Moreover, building codes offer a degree of comfort for buyers, by assuring minimum construction standards for the safety and soundness of a building.

 

Lower Maintenance: Building codes also aid home and building owners by decreasing the number of contractor callbacks for maintenance and repairs because structures built in accordance with the newest codes require fewer repairs and maintenance requests.

 

Everyone deserves to be safe. You can work to ensure that your government representatives take this seriously by taking action!