Pat Guthrie - The Architect's Portable Handbook

The Architect’s Portable Handbook

Preface to the Third Edition

The major reason for this third edition, besides updating costs and other information, is the new building codes—the 2000 International Building Code (and the very similar NFPA 5000 Building Code). With the IBC, a very good thing has happened. The three model codes in the United States have come together to produce one national model code (even though it is called “international”). The bad thing, to my thinking, is that it has grown in size and complexity by a factor of 10. I challenge anyone to read it (if you can), as I did, and not come to the same conclusion. It is very difficult to grasp, and I believe it will become difficult to enforce. This will put anyone associated with it in jeopardy of being accused of not adhering to or enforcing the law. The NFPA code, though a little more user friendly, is not much better. I believe that when laws become too complex and voluminous people simply no longer pay attention to them. It should not be that way.

Therefore, I urge all design professionals and all others dealing with building construction or code enforcement to solicit their professional associations and other organizations to lobby for a simpler code—now! K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, stupid”) is the answer.



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