Engage code officials early for better building performance, predictable enforcement expectations

White paper says code officials should be collaborators and facilitators.

January 16, 2018 |

Local building code officials should be involved early in a project to produce better building performance, according to a new white paper by the National Institute of Building Sciences National Council on Building Codes and Standards (NCBCS).

Engaging Code Officials Early in the Process to Achieve High-Performance Buildings makes the case for code officials to act more as collaborators and facilitators on projects. This will result in the building team being able to better tap into the expertise of codes officials.

“Many communities are adopting customer-service focused models to engage with their citizens,” the white paper says. “The code department can and should serve as a shining example of a customer-centered municipal function, while maintaining its important mission of assuring community safety.”

“Involving code officials, such as building, fire, mechanical and plumbing officials early in the project provides the project team with comprehensive client services while helping to deliver predictable enforcement expectations. This initial engagement creates a link between stakeholders, economic development and health, safety, and welfare by involving the relevant authorities.”

The white paper offers suggestions for implementing a more collaborative approach and addresses potential challenges. It includes a draft meeting agenda for jurisdictions to reference when setting up initiation meetings with teams when beginning new projects.

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