According to an NAHB survey question Sprinklers are the most concerning building code change for single-family builders. An issue here in Minnesota we’re all to familiar with.
Building codes were originally designed to establish minimum safety standards for newly built structures, but advocacy groups have recently used them as a tool for advancing public policies, such as energy efficiency. While some of these changes may be needed, builders have seen this drive up construction costs substantially. Many builders believe that some of these code changes are simply unnecessary.
NAHB added a special question to the October survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. The question specifically asked builders “How concerned are you about building codes becoming too stringent and driving up costs without a measurable improvement in safety or other benefits?”
The results show that on a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 is extremely concerned, 35 percent of single-family builders are extremely concerned about building codes overall, but this varies with the specific type of code. At the top of the list, 58 percent of builders are extremely concerned about the cost implications of codes associated with fire sprinklers, followed by energy codes at 38 percent. At the other end of the spectrum, only 9 percent are extremely concerned about the cost implications of plumbing/gas codes.