Code Council Guideline for Replicable Buildings Reduces Costs, Speeds Approval Process, Maintains Safety
Henry Ford changed the world in the early 1900s when he developed the assembly line that increased the efficiency to manufacture cars while decreasing the cost. Replicable buildings, construction plans for structures that have been reviewed and deemed code compliant by a designated expert and accepted by the governing authority, could impact the construction industry in a similar way. The Guideline for Replicable Buildings is the first in a series of International Code Council guidelines. Replicable buildings are important to corporations and chains that construct similar or identical buildings across the country.
“The timing of this potentially game-changing thinking could not be better as the construction industry struggles to rebound from the economy,” said Code Council CEO Rick Weiland. “As architects, engineers, designers, builders and building owners increase efficiency, regulatory efficiency also must advance. The replicable buildings concept can reduce costs without compromising safety.”
The replicable building review process will enhance public safety through a uniform review process, conserve local resources by eliminating repetitive reviews of transportable plans, and reduce the time between permit submittal and construction mobilization, according to ICC.
“As advancements in technology continue to transform the design and construction industry, the need for streamlining building regulation is greater than ever before,” said Ronald E. Piester, AIA, Director of the New York State Department of State’s Division of Code Enforcement and Administration, and a Council Board Member. “The guideline provides a framework to streamline the review of plans for replicable buildings without sacrifice to the mission of building safety.”
Because construction plans are reviewed overall by a designated expert and for compliance with local amendments and conditions by the governing authority, properties can be built without a complete plan review in any jurisdiction that adopts the replicable guideline. The expert review supports consistent code enforcement and will be invaluable to jurisdictions, especially those in states with statewide I-Code adoptions.
Thomas Phillips, Code Compliance Manager for Target Corporation says, “Most building owners and designers applaud the adoption of a nationwide building code to drive consistency in solutions, create a competitive environment for construction, and safeguard the public health, safety and welfare. However, the inconsistent application of the code and repetitive submittals continues to confound owners and designers.”
Implementing a building document review process to examine and verify that replicable construction documents comply with the International Codes could save considerable state and local resources and time by eliminating repetitive code-compliance reviews. As a result, local jurisdictions can focus their resources on reviews of complex and high-risk projects.
After a catastrophic natural disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane or earthquake, there is a need for mass plan reviews of homes and businesses so people can put their lives back together in a timely manner. Allowing owners, architects, engineers, designers and builders to submit an approved replicable design would allow for more thorough plan review by plans examiners, reduce construction time, and result in fewer change orders and more meaningful inspections. One result of the process would be quicker occupancy, according to the Code Council.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.