Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Building Codes, Smuilding Codes

The Gulf South needs to adopt better residential building codes. International Code Council has created the International Residential Code 2003 (IRC). I have a copy here that I refer to when doing residential projects. It is more stringent and comprehensive than CABO and therefore more costly than CABO but you get a better building.

Unfortunately, neither Louisiana, Mississippi nor Alabama have adopted this code. In fact, these are the only states that have not according to ArchitecureWeek. The State of Louisiana passed a bill in the previous (not so) special session to adopt a more stringent building code. As usual, Governor Kathleen "drew a" Blanco pushed to form a committee to discuss the building code.

For crying out loud. A better code is available and all the legislature has to do is to pass a law adopting this code to be enforced at a pre-determined date. That's what they did when the state adopted the International Building Code a couple of years ago. But then the state was under different management back then.

I hope that people don't get the impression that building a house to the IRC will make it immune to the kind of disaster we have due to Katrina and Rita. It is true that much of the damage sustained as a result of high winds would not have been incured with the IRC, but most of the damage was caused by storm surge and flooding. I'm not aware of any code that will make a building stand up to that.

The IRC will only mean fewer blue roofs in the future.

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