Building Codes Are Stupid...

I recall a conversation with a city fire chief a few years ago, he had a problem recruiting "fire fighters." In his suburban town, the occurrence of home fires was down and this was largely due to the superior construction methods, materials, and codes. As a result, most of the work and training of his staff had very little to do with fires and a lot to do with medical and other emergencies. And, it seems that fighting fires was much more exciting, and a better recruitment tool. What a nice problem to have! There are fewer fires in new construction, and as a result, it is harder to recruit fire fighters. (And, by the way, I wish we had more codes requiring fire sprinkler systems!)

New homes also use much less fuel for heating and cooling; require fewer plumbing repairs; and are less likely to be built in a swamp. And most of that is due to those "stupid" codes. Codes are not fun to follow. They don't often allow for special circumstances or innovative approaches. Codes are slow to change. And yes, codes contain some "stupid" provisions.