Recently, here on RR we’ve been talking about building codes and touching on topics like “freedom” in general.
On a list I read, this topic is also raging.
Some feel that “building codes” protect all citizens, and as a result they feel that “Building codes” are lines drawn in sand, that must not be crossed.
Some feel that Building Codes are just limits, to keep the sheep in line, and protect profit margins.
I’m thinking that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Do you watch Charlie Rose on PBS? Recently, a comment was made on his show that;
The Bill of Rights, and the Constitution were actually written to suppress rights, not enable them.
Rules limit freedom, right?
They seemingly provide protection for some, while limiting the rights of others.
Some might say that the problem with Building Codes in particular, is that they offtimes appear to be badly written, antiquated, and disproportionate in their “designs” on the public that they alleged to serve.
We’ve talked about what you “need to be” to actually be a building inspector, here on RR before, so I’m not going to drag that out again. Suffice to say, a case could be made that if you’re 18 and you’ve graduated from High School, you have a shot at telling guys like architects and engineers that they can’t do what they were trained to do, because YOU have the ultimate authority.
Building codes are often written and acted on, fueled by the elite, the wealthiest of us, who seek to insure that needs are met that protect THEM, and not necessarily “ALL”.
It’s the lobbyist mentality that rules those days…
Many of these Codes disproportionally limit the freedom and even the rights of individuals who seek out a “different path”.
On the list I’m referring to, the following was said;
“So often, laws are being written by the lobbyist of the interests with the money to do the writing, present it to the law makers, and convince them that theirs are the only worthwhile concerns.
Meanwhile, groups such as owner-builders get no representation, and become the victims of the laws.”
Like many others, I’m not a huge fan of building codes and zoning laws we use most commonly in the US. In my view, they provide segregation by design, and it moves us away from that “melting pot” that history teaches us is the backbone of this country. It’s the diversity that makes us unique, that makes us different than many other places on the rock.
Those laws create ghettos and isolation.
Further, building codes are designed to protect the trades, not your right to build a safe home. If you think otherwise, you’re naive.
Beyond being restrictive, the big push of late is to make them Universal.” I’m doing a lot of reading lately, about topics like a National Building Codes that would blanket ALL US states and territories.
The adoption of their “Overwhelmingly smothering code” would serve to stop many kinds of alternative housing in their tracks. The common man simply couldn’t afford to get a UL rating, on every component and assembly configuration for example.
A guy I read, “Laren Corie” (Natural Solar Building Design and Solar Heating/Natural Cooling/Energy Efficiency Consultation Since 1975 – he’s a “Little House guru” and all around REALLY SMART guy), said it best:
“Building codes are purported to be only about insuring that structures are built to be safe for their occupants. So, where does prescribing a particular material, designed and built in exacting detail to the code, fit in with that?
Codes and other restraints on building should be only based on performance goals, not detailed compliance.
We need a new amendment to our constitution.
The next Bill of Rights should start with:
“Protection from the elements being necessary, the People shall not be restrained from building by their own labor on their own land, in any manner of housing or shelter that suits their needs, WITHOUT unduly endangering their neighbors, thus providing shelter for their immediate family.”
I think that where the difference falls is are the laws designed to protect you from other people or other people from you or are they designed to protect you from yourself.
Laws designed to protect you from others gives you freedom..
Laws designed to protect you from yourself takes away freedom..”
I’m thinking that maybe he has something there…
What do YOU think?
Blueprint Image – StockPhotoSpecialties
Building Code Image – New York Magazine
Thermal Attic Image – Laren Corie