In some rural areas in the United States, a building permit is not required when it comes to building construction. As a result, it may be tempting to not get a building permit. This blog post explains why building codes still matter!
Building codes are a set of regulations and standards that govern the construction of buildings in the United States. There is a long history of how these codes were developed. At one point in time, there were several regional codes.
In the last few decades, however, that has changed!
Now, the majority of the USA is under some version of the International Code Council’s standard codes. Typically, they are under the International Building Code (IBC). Most local jurisdictions (cities and counties), as well as some states, have adopted a building code. This building code is enforced through a permitting and inspection process.
There are, however, regions within the United States (mostly rural) that do not have a jurisdiction with an adopted building code. Below are a few reasons why your ministry should follow the IBC during design and construction even when a permit is not required for construction.
Building Permit Benefits
- Safety: Building codes are in place to protect the safety of the occupants of the building. They establish minimum standards that aim to limit the number of potential dangers. Following building codes can help prevent accidents. It can also limit the damage and lives lost during a fire and protect from building collapse (as well as a myriad of other hazardous situations).
- Liability: If a building does not meet building code requirements, your ministry could be liable for any injuries or damages that result from non-compliance. This could result in legal action and costly fines and penalties for your ministry.
- Property Value: If a building is not built to code, it may not meet the standards required by your insurance provider. This could potentially result in difficulty securing property and general liability insurance. It could also result in higher premiums for non-compliant buildings.
- Accessibility: Most codes require a minimum level of accessibility for disabled persons. While there are often religious exemptions, meeting these standards is important. In addition to the Americans with Disabilities Act, this is a way to care for those who will use the building. Even if there is nobody in your ministry that currently needs these accommodations! Proving a building that is easy to access and move around speaks volumes to your love and consideration of others.
- Peace of Mind: Following building codes can give ministries peace of mind knowing their building is safe and structurally sound.
In summary, following building codes is crucial, even when a building permit is not required. Doing so can help ensure the safety and health of occupants and the general public, protect against liability, maintain property value, and provide peace of mind.
If you would like more information on how TECH can assist you, please contact us at techteam.org!