Due to utmost complications, building codes have a reputation for being one of the most confusing aspects of the construction industry. No matter whether the building owners or general contractors are experienced or not, the term building code is a daunting aspect for all of them. However, building codes play a crucial role in the success of any construction project as they provide a comprehensive roadmap to creating and maintaining safe building structures.
So, if you are keen to learn more about building code and its importance, then this article is for you. Let's begin!
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What is Building Code?
A building code is a set of rules and regulations that regulates construction activities all across the country. In order to achieve the minimum standards of welfare and safety of residents of a building, the governing body lays down a set of guidelines to regulate construction activities, and these sets of guidelines are known as building codes.
The building code involves basic building requirements in addition to administrative regulations. As per the meaning, the building code is a set of local laws in relation to how the buildings must be built and designed, especially keeping in mind the quality and safety aspects of the final product. The building code contains the guidelines for the entire structure of the building involving the size of rooms, wall assemblies, floor plans, foundations, staircase design, roof structures, and electrical and mechanical assemblies like plumbing, lighting, and fixtures standards.
In 1970, the National Building Code (NBC) was first published in India, and the significant provisions of the Indian Building Code involve:
1. Structural safety of the building
2. Earthquake-resistant building design
3. Fire and life safety
4. Solid waste management
5. Accessibility for differently-abled and senior citizens
6. Use of alternative building techniques
7. Environmentally compatible building construction techniques like the use of solar power, rainwater harvesting, etc.
Since its first notification, the building code in India has been frequently revised to suit the time. The building code was initially revised in 1983. In 1987, two new amendments were made, and later NBC was further amended in 2005.
In 2017, the Central Government amended the National Building Code again to achieve the premium quality of construction. As per the revised code, builders are now liable for the safety of the developed structures. In addition to this, the revised building code specifies life and fire safety norms as well, especially for high-rise residential buildings. The code reads multiple clauses pertaining to the use of technologies and innovative building materials in order to help the government meet its housing target of around 20 million budget-friendly homes under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
Importance of Building Code
Abiding by the building code rules is very much imperative. But if you don't know why then have a look at the importance of building code below:
1. Promotes safety
Building codes not only offer a standard benchmark that constructors must meet, but they also establish safety standards for a building for years to come. As extreme weather conditions and fires are growing rapidly in the country, it becomes vital that buildings and structures be built and designed using the current building codes to allow for maximum safety, sustainability, and resilience.
2. Protects Future Generations
Building code requirements and provisions allow construction companies to build better in terms of safety and quality, and this, in turn, protects future generations. For instance, new and updated building codes put much emphasis on conservation as energy waste is the most expensive byproduct of older regulations. This will not only offer environmental benefits to future generations but will also regulate indoor air pollution to protect overall health.
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3. Lower construction costs
Another major benefit of following building codes is its ability to lower construction costs, which is the objective of every job. If you wonder how building codes reduce construction costs, we have an answer! Put simply, structures built with up-to-date building codes will better resist threats like natural disasters. Following building codes will not only help you lower costs for your construction company but communicating your emphasis on code enforcement to customers will help you grow your business. The reason is people nowadays look for resilient structures that offer protection against severe weather conditions.
4. Offers environmental perks
Before the introduction of building codes in the construction industry, building commercial and residential properties used a lot of energy which adversely affected the environment. Thus enforcing building codes to create low-energy buildings offers a tangible way for the company to help decrease the greenhouse gas emissions of the nation. And in this way, building code offers multiple environmental benefits.
5. Reduces energy bills
While safety is the primary objective, new building codes are making significant contributions toward solving energy issues. Building codes contain provisions relating to the use of environmentally compatible construction techniques like rainwater harvesting and solar power. These provisions allow the constructors to use natural energy sources, which in turn reduces the energy bills. As a building owner, the benefits of abiding by building codes to reduce energy bills are staggering. However, general contractors can use this as a selling point when closing sales.
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That's all! We hope this article has helped you understand what building code is and its importance! So, if you are from a construction company and are confused about whether to follow building codes or not, we suggest you abide by these codes to offer maximum safety to the residents. If you've any queries, feel free to ask by commenting below.