BENEFITS OF A STATEWIDE
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CODE
Benefit to State
A statewide code can reduce insurance costs across the state, as all communities may benefit from improved ISO ratings. Having a code adopted at the state level saves resources at the local level since individual communities will not have to spend time and financial resources going through a separate code review, amendment, and adoption processes. There is also increasing pressure to link federal mitigation grants and disaster assistance to the adoption of building codes. If a link was established, states with a statewide code could be eligible for more grant funding and more disaster assistance than states without a statewide code.
Benefit to Builder
Builders who work in multiple cities or counties will benefit from the consistency in requirements provided by a statewide code. When code adoption happens at the local level, a builder working in multiple communities and jurisdictions may have to comply with a patchwork of codes, code editions, and local amendments. This may lead to more plan reviews and discussions with building officials over local interpretations. A consistent set of statewide building codes may lead to more consistent enforcement across the state and fewer conflicts between builders and building officials.
Benefit to Consumer
Having one statewide code allows product manufacturers to benefit from economies of scale, as the same product or set of products will comply with the code in all parts of the state. This can result in cost savings that can be passed on to the consumer. Home buyers would have the security of knowing homes built in the state meet a widely-accepted minimum standard for construction. As new editions of a code are adopted statewide, consumers benefit from homes that can incorporate new, improved or innovative building products, materials and methods of construction.
The Alaska State Home Building Association (ASHBA) is continuing to work on creating a statewide building code through the passage of legislation. Within the 30th Alaska Legislature, House Bill 76 has been introduced at the request of ASHBA in order to establish the International Residential Code within the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation as the state residential code. If you have additional questions or would like to know how to support this effort, please feel free to contact your local Builders Associations around the state of Alaska or one of the ASHBA Statewide Building Code Task Force members listed below.