The Rising Demand for Structures

2018 Residential Code Adoption by StateEvery code cycle seems to demand more from our structures. Increases in regulations often mean increased cost, which to many builders is perceived as a net negative. Yet, is this the correct way to perceive stricter rules? Or is there a better way to think about new demands?

At BuildBlock we like to pose an alternative viewpoint. Building codes often represent the lowest common denominator of building standards that anyone is required to construct to. If code compliance means building to the lowest common denominator, then shouldn’t we be considering how to build better structures? 

Now does this mean that every code change is merited? Absolutely not. However, it is time to start asking some of the age-old architectural questions. What do we actually need from our structures? Is it form, function, or something in between?

I might suggest that there are a few important considerations about what we need from our structures. Our buildings should be resilient, able to withstand a range of different climatic events. Our buildings should be efficient using the least amount of energy possible without having diminishing returns from too much product used. Our buildings should be designed to promote good health, improving our air quality, and accomplishing the design characteristics that improve our psychology while also meeting our formal needs. Lastly, our buildings should be cost-effective. That may not always mean the cheapest, but that our structures are built to last, have reduced long term maintenance, and not break the bank on the front end of construction. If our buildings can accomplish these goals, then in actuality we have come close to meeting the inherent goals of many building codes. 

Building codes are not designed to hamper us, rather to force us to build to a higher standard. Building to a higher standard has always been part of the core philosophy at BuildBlock. We want you to construct buildings that accomplish meaningful goals. 

Check out these BuildBlock ICF projects that have gone above and beyond in terms of efficiency, safety, comfort, and code expectations:

zero energy ready home

The Olivia by Charis Homes: This is the first Zero Energy Ready Home ever built in Ohio. It’s won multiple awards but most importantly, it’s always comfortable and saves the owner money every single month.The Braunschmidt Resident: This Colorado home is so energy efficient that the owner didn’t have to install an AC unit. There is no ductwork in the entire house and even on hot summer days the interior temperature peaks around 72 degrees.The Scott Home: Built over 10 years ago, this ICF home continues to outperform its energy-efficient neighbors proving that the benefits of building with ICFs are long term.