Successful navigation of building codes is critical to the success of every builder, developer remodeler, architect, or construction manager.
Modern Buildings Stave off Obsolescence and Maintain Property Value: Developers fear that their buildings will become obsolete. 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 geared toward first time home buyers, thus enabling more working families to afford homes. 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.
Increased Buying Power: Home buyers demand comfort, quality and energy efficiency. Building codes put dollars in the pockets of home buyers — and, in turn, home builders — 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, they offer a degree of comfort for buyers, who are reassured by the existence of minimum construction standards for the safety and soundness of a building.
Lower Maintenance: Building codes also aid builders and developers by decreasing the number of customer callbacks for maintenance and repairs. Callbacks decrease the builder’s profitability. Structures built in accordance with the newest codes require fewer repairs and maintenance requests.
Predictability Lowers cost of Adapting to New Codes: Predictability is an important factor in helping the private sector adapt to updated building codes. Building codes promote a level and predictable playing field for designers, builders and suppliers. If companies know that they will need to train employees, update processes, and adapt their supply chain every three years, they can build that into financial planning so it becomes a sustainable part of business operations. Uncertainty could make adapting to new building codes more disruptive. Additionally, if building codes are updated infrequently, changes would be more challenging to integrate into operations.
Standardization Improves Margins: When Building Codes are standard, designers and builders have to spend less time ensuring that a design meets local code. Adoption of standard building codes on a normal cycle reduces the burden of building codes and promotes operational efficiency. Additionally, federal, state and local tax credits or incentives may be available to support energy efficient design and standardization will allow project managers to ensure that these are passed to the appropriate stakeholders.
Everyone deserves to be safe. You can work to ensure that your government representatives take this seriously by taking action!