Building Safety Month: Week Five

Innovations in building safety

WEEK FIVE // May 27–31, 2019

Building Safety Month: Week Five

Innovations in building safety

WEEK FIVE // May 27–31, 2019

Science and Technology Lead the Way

Science and technology are leading the way for designing and constructing safe, efficient and resilient homes and buildings. Up-to-date building safety codes and standards enable technology to be incorporated into buildings while ensuring safety for lives, properties and investments.

Drones no longer are novelties, but are increasingly being used to maintain construction site security and observe post-disaster building damage, reducing the opportunity for accidents and injuries.

Someday, robotics may be used on construction sites, overseen by skilled technicians, to handle tasks such as painting or laying masonry.

The International Codes (I-Codes), developed by the International Code Council, are the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes in the world and use the latest technology for energy and water savings for homeowners and businesses. We remain committed to working with member jurisdictions and industry partners to bring the right building products and practices to market, labeling new homes and structures as more efficient, and spreading the word about the need for wiser resource usage and building resilient structures.

The building safety industry is on the cutting edge of technology and building science. From green construction and resiliency to product evaluation, certification, and codification, the ICC Family of Companies is part of this technological transformation to make our buildings safer and our industry more advanced.

Green construction

Green building strategies reinforce the societal health, life and safety benefits that building codes offer, providing resilience to natural disasters, a changing climate, resource consumption and management, and service interruptions due to unforeseen events. Green building can also aid occupant comfort and health, save money and preserve resources during the design, construction and operation of buildings. Many homeowners, businesses and building professionals have voluntarily sought to incorporate green building strategies into their projects, and a number of local and national systems have been developed to guide green building practices.

The 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) provides the design and construction industry with a very effective way to deliver sustainable, resilient, high-performance buildings. The 2018 IgCC provides fundamental criteria for energy efficiency, resource conservation, water safety, land use, site development, indoor environmental quality and building performance that can be broadly adopted.

Code compliant building products

The certification and accreditation of building products are critical to the building code enforcement process. Technical evaluations of building product listings and plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas listings provide regulators and construction professionals with clear evidence that products and systems comply with codes and technical standards. The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) issues reports on product code compliance that are made available free of charge to code officials, contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers and anyone else with an interest in the building industry and construction. ASTM International develops voluntary standards for materials and products, including the ongoing development of a Standard Practice for Determining the Flood Damage Resistance Rating of Materials and Assemblies.

Accreditation of entities that support code compliance

There is a need for independent verification that businesses, organizations and governmental entities that facilitate building codes and standards are competent and comply with industry and/or international standards. The International Accreditation Service (IAS) accredits testing and calibration laboratories, inspection agencies, building departments, fabricator inspection programs and special inspection agencies to ensure adherence to acknowledged standards.

Building department codification

Codification is the process by which local governments keep their laws organized, structured and updated to serve as a reliable legal reference. General Code updates and digitizes local codes, integrating new laws into the existing code. It works with municipalities to create a single, consistent resource and compiles the information into a comprehensive code. It subsequently publishes this code resource in print or in a convenient online platform.

Resilience benchmarking

Buildings house many of the most critical functions of our communities, including schools, hospitals, businesses and residences. The Code Council and the Alliance for National and Community Resilience (ANCR) recently released their community resilience benchmarks on buildings. This unique benchmark document provides specific guidelines for increasing the safety, sustainability and resilience of communities’ building stock. Throughout 2019, ANCR will engage subject matter experts in the development of additional benchmarks including housing, business, energy and water infrastructure. Resilience starts with strong, regularly updated and properly implemented building codes.

So, whether you’re considering renovating, remodeling or building from the ground up, look for the latest technology and make sure it is based on the codes and standards that put safety and efficiency first.

Additional Information and Resources

INFO Community Resilience Indicators

PUBLICATION FEMA P-798, Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings