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The Costs of California Building Codes

Reconciling accessibility and safety with costs and innovation in the Golden State.
May 1, 2017, 10am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Iryna Liveoak

The California Building code, covers accessibility and structural safety (especially as relates to earthquakes), got an update this January. According to reporting from Diego Aguilar-Canabal who writes for the Bay City Beacon, "Few builders object to its myriad requirements, but rather to the politics of it all - stringent design guidelines and unpredictable local implementation isolate California’s construction trades from innovation in the global market." For example, some who would like to build with Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) because it is a light, energy-efficient material are unable to because of, what they see as, outdated regulations kept in place by the concrete lobby.   

One independent consulting group agreed with developers who say the codes add unnecessary costs. "A survey by the McKinsey Global Institute found that the construction industry was generally outpaced by overall economic growth by at least 75%, making infrastructure demand harder to meet." Aguilar-Canabal writes.

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Published on Monday, April 24, 2017 in The Bay City Beacon
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