by: Jim Dunlap, President of the Alaska State Home Building Association
You would probably be disgusted to hear your favorite restaurant didn’t meet health codes. There’s widespread support for health codes for food establishments because it’s a way to keep people safe and hold companies accountable. These codes are based on safety standards and regulated. Most people understand the importance of these uniform regulations, so why aren’t there statewide regulations to keep people safe in their homes?
How can you be sure that the house you want to buy or currently live in was built so that it does not cause health or safety problems for the members of your household? A statewide residential building code can provide the consumer confidence needed to ensure that homes are constructed to consistent standards of safety and construction. Alaska does not have a statewide residential building code. Homes built in the state are of varying degrees of quality and safety. The Alaska State Home Building Association (ASHBA) wants to ensure that consistent minimum building standards are applied throughout the state. ASHBA anticipates that a statewide residential building code will correspond with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation’s construction standards for housing eligible for loan purchase
Thirty-three states have statewide residential building codes. A building code sets forth requirements to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to construction and the occupancy of a building.
With statewide building codes in place, homebuyers can trust the construction process of their home. Adopting new codes encourages innovation in building products, materials and methods of construction. Statewide codes can also reduce the cost of insurance.
Statewide codes will help Alaska. There is increasing pressure to link mitigation grants and disaster assistance to the adoption of building codes. If a link is established, Alaska, with a statewide code, could be eligible for more grant funding and more disaster assistance.
From the homeowner to the state we call home, statewide building codes benefit everyone. For more information about the benefits of statewide building codes visit www.statewidecode.com.