Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?

 
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Old 04-16-2004, 01:28 PM   #1
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Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


I was reading a thread about stairs and noted that the codes for stair treads would be different depending on where one might be. Isn't that crazy? I mean do people in California climb stairs differently than people here in Michigan? I never noticed? It seems to me it would be a heckuva lot easier to standardize the codes at least within a state. I thought they were trying to do that here in MI, but it's like the motor ran out of gas. It just doesn't make any sense. Then if I move to CA and try to be a GC there, what good is my know how? I want to create a nation wide movement to standardize building codes. I can understand some differences based on geography, weather etc, but sometimes the codes just don't make sense.
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Old 04-16-2004, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


Codes are typically adopted as a set - such as UBC 1997. But in many areas there are new types of buildings being erected that just don't fall under the same definition as before - so they get a committee together (typically building departments, fire departments, etc) and create new codes for that municipality.
Good luck - very ambitious project you have in front of you.

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Old 04-16-2004, 06:50 PM   #3
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Re: Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


I wish you luck too.
Building codes are regional and economical. If one was to build a home that would satisfy all of the codes across the country, the cost would be out of many peoples reach.
eg. Here in FL we worry about the roof lifting off in a hurricane, in MT they worry about a roof collapsing under tons of snow, thus the different codes.
I always thought that interior stairs were pretty much standard. I've never built outside of the Bahamas (no codes in the 50's and 60's) and FL so don't consider me an expert on this topic.
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Old 04-16-2004, 11:13 PM   #4
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Re: Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


In 1998 NYS reviewed the International Building Codes (which many states use) N Y S made so many changes to the International code that they call it ( The New York State Code) this code is used in all NY except N Y C which has its own building code.
Teelorbilt I live in upstate NY our wind is 90 MPH On the eastern end of long Island the wind adv. 110 MPH section R802.11.1describes tie down requirements for Basic wind speed from 85 to 110. to resist uplift forces.
Simon here is the requirements of The Residential Code of New York State sect. R314.2 Threads and Risers : The maximum riser height shall be 8 1/4" and the minimum thread depth shall be 9 inches. The greaest riser
height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch. the greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed
the smallest by more than,

who ever reads this, send in your Building (requirements bex. ) I will chect a laroa
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Old 04-17-2004, 01:21 AM   #5
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Re: Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


theman, Want to see some really radical changes? Look into the Miami-Dade code AFTER Andrew went through the neighborhood. That was only a cat 3 storm at best, a cat 2 about the time that it landed.
Here the battle is over 125 wind speeds, paltry in my estimate when if you really get smacked wind speeds will exceed 180 for sustained periods. Did I mention tidal surge? 28' in 1926, doesn't mean that it can't happen again. If you don't know Florida, most of us are 6-10' above sea level. I'm on a high spot, 14'.
I have not spoken to you before but I am a PE/PHD Fluid and Hydrodynamics.
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Old 04-17-2004, 08:39 AM   #6
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Re: Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


What I've noticed about codes is yes they are adopted as a set then altered by the local municipality for some specific reason. As to stairs, they may not be climbed differently but a stair in southern california is less likley to accumulate ice than a stair in Northern michigan.
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Old 04-17-2004, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: Who Writes Building Codes? How Different Could They Be?


In some of the small towns I've built in I've seen the inspectors make their own codes. Most cases it's been a small item not required by any adopted code, just a idea the inspector felt like adopting that day. Next job, a month or two later the inspector didn't remember squat.

One time I had an inspector take me aside (away from crews and customer) and say "What am I supposed to look at? This is my first day on the job." Poor fella, for 2 months he called me asking for advice.

Not going to mention his name :-)

Bob

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