Rethink Your Life!
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The Work of Art and The Art of Work
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[Cob] building codesWesley Sandel wsandel at gmail.com
Fri May 4 07:21:12 PDT 2007
I've been reading the posts on building codes. It's true, it seems pretty damn silly that you can't just build whatever you want to live in, but often have to conform to all kinds of standards that may seem to make no sense (except in most rural areas, where apparently you can just build whatever you want anyway). But not all codes are just attempts by big brother to force you to give your money to corporations. I've spent a good bit of time in Central America. After awhile I started remarking on how ugly and expensive all the structural concrete homes were, and how much cheaper and more liveable the natural product homes were. Then it was pointed out to me that every 20 years or so they have a series of horrendous earthquakes and lots of natural homes fall down on people, so they've fallen out of favor. The locals have opted, without code, to use steel reinforced concrete when they can. I was involved with a non-profit in Houston, building low cost housing. On one project, someone hung the drywall before the electrical was inspected, and the city inspector made us cut holes in the drywall every few feet to verify that everything was up to code. We were pretty upset. But the fact is, a lot of contractors will cut corners to save money, and one of the functions of the code is to prevent that happening and compromising safety. Codes are often safety driven.
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