Building Codes

Bike parking in underground area with ramp for taking bikes upstairs.

California Building Code to Add Bike Parking Requirements

Convenient and secure bike parking can make a major impact on whether people adopt biking as a daily transportation option.

June 19, 2024 - Streetsblog California

Close-up of natural gas stove burner with blue flames.

Berkeley Voters to Decide on Building Gas Tax

The city could tax large buildings that use gas in lieu of enacting a law that would have banned gas-powered buildings altogether.

June 12, 2024 - Smart Cities Dive

Worker in yellow construction vest working on modular home under construction.

Op-Ed: Making Housing More Affordable Through Modular Construction

A relatively minor change to the federal government’s regulations on modular construction could bring down the cost of building and deploying modular housing to more communities facing housing shortages.

January 3, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

View of Chicago Old Town neighborhood with low-rise brick buildings in foreground and tall residential high-rises in background.

Chicago Looks to Boulder Landlord Registry as a Model for Tenant Protections

Unlike the Colorado city, where code violations in rental housing are quickly identified and fixed, Chicago lacks a robust system of inspection and enforcement.

November 13, 2023 - Next City

California State Capital

California First in the Nation to Limit Embodied Carbon in Buildings

California’s Building Code accomplished a first-in-the-nation step to mitigate carbon emissions from the construction and maintenance of buildings, by limiting embodied carbon in some commercial and school buildings.

August 14, 2023 - The Architect’s Newspaper

Worker standing between solar panels on roof

Rooftop Solar Hampered by New York City Fire Code

Requirements in the NYFD fire code make it costly and difficult to achieve the city’s solar installation goals.

May 26, 2022 - Grist

View looking down a multi-story apartment building staircase

How a Staircase Requirement Can Impact Housing Affordability

Critics of the double-staircase mandate for multi-story buildings argue that it does little to improve fire safety while raising the costs of housing construction and limiting community interaction.

May 9, 2022 - The Virginia Mercury

Green Building

Industry Continues to Push Back Against Carbon-Slashing Building Codes

The battle over the efficiencies and infrastructure required in building codes continues.

March 15, 2022 - Huffpost

Colorado Springs, Colorado skyline

Colorado Springs Drafts New Regional Annexation Plan

A regional planning proposal in El Paso County, Colorado calls for uniform standards for unincorporated developments, which would make it easier to receive city services if annexed in the future.

March 30, 2021 - The Gazette (Colorado Springs)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Industry Wins a Round Over Building Efficiency Requirements

New regulations prohibit cities from enacting stricter efficiency standards in new buildings.

March 11, 2021 - Huffington Post

Accessory Dwelling Unit rendering

Los Angeles Streamlines ADU Permits with High-Design Templates

Los Angeles' ADU Standard Plan Program will offer homeowners a set of pre-approved designs that will save them time and money.

March 8, 2021 - Los Angeles Times

Seattle Construction

Seattle Limits Natural Gas in New Construction

More cities are banning the use of natural gas in new buildings. Seattle is the latest example.

February 11, 2021 - The Seattle Times

Getting Raised in Gentilly, Loisiana

Adapting Building Codes to Natural Disasters Saves Billions

New research shows that modern building codes have prevented around $27 billion in damage from natural disasters between 2000 and 2016, yet many cities still operate under decades-old regulations.

December 22, 2020 - Route Fifty

Home Repairs

Code Enforcement as Coronavirus Response Policy

The Center for Community progress offers advice on effective code enforcement during a time of extreme economic duress.

May 28, 2020 - Center for Community Progress


States Mandating Housing Deregulation

Housing deregulation for the sake of housing affordability made progress in both Democratic- and Republican-led states last year.

January 21, 2020 - City Journal

Winter in Pennsylvania

Height Limits, Roof Deck Ban Killed by Philly Planning Commission's Pocket Veto

The Philadelphia City Planning Commission made a "rare how of power" in using a variety of "pocket veto" to kill proposed height and roof deck restrictions in the Far Northeast section of Philadelphia.

December 17, 2019 - WHYY

City Bird

New York Largest U.S. City to Require Bird-Friendly Building Materials

The New York City Council approved Proposed Initiative 1482B by an overwhelming margin, ensuring bird-friendly design and construction practices in the largest U.S. city.

December 17, 2019 - The Architect's Newspaper

Emoji Neighborhood

A New Kind of Planning Controversy: the Emoji House

A complaint about an illegal Airbnb, a very visual response, and a headache for city officials in the city of Manhattan Beach, California.

August 18, 2019 - Los Angeles Times

Globe Life Park in Arlington

Texas Preempts Local Rules on Building Materials

Local governments didn't want the Texas State Legislature to approved HB 2439, but now the bill is officially law. Some communities worry that they can no longer control the aesthetics of new development.

June 20, 2019 - NBC DFW

Chicago Harbor, City Skyline, Illinois

Comprehensive Building Code Update Approved in Chicago

Chicago's new building code is hailed as a major achievement for the city, labor unions, and the construction and development industries in the city.

April 12, 2019 - MAPS

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