Construction, Codes and Standards

By Yared Gebremeden

Virtually all residential construction must adhere to comprehensive building codes and standards governed by local and state laws. Because of the cost and complexity of developing and maintaining such codes, state and local governments typically adopt nationally recognized model codes, often amending them to reflect local construction practices, climate and geography.

Most countries and communities adopt internationally recognized Codes for this purpose. The Codes address all aspects of single- and two-family as well as multifamily construction, including structural elements and the electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and energy conservation requirements as well as the over all construction elements of the sector.

The requirements established by national code bodies, the modifications made by state and local governments, and the standards set by national organizations that are used in developing the model codes can significantly affect the construction, configuration and cost of new residential buildings as well as remodeling or additions to existing ones.