October 5, 2020

Construction Dive: How Building Codes Impact Modular Design and Construction

Construction Dive has published a thorough look on how building codes currently impact modular design and construction including perspective from Josh Mensinger of our ModularDesign+ team.

As the piece notes there are varying building codes and regulations across states for modular construction and that lack of consistency can frustrate project teams and perhaps hinder or delay growth. New 2021 codes from the International Code Council (ICC) are expected to better address modular building in a way that is expected to bring more consistency to modular regulations in the jurisdictions that adopt them. Currently 35 states have modular programs at different levels of code adoption.

Josh shares that “the key to working in an environment where modular codes and regulations vary state to state is to make early contact with the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and find out what it’s requirements are before design work begins.That starts with having a conversation with the owner.

From day one of the project, he shares, engaging the local AHJ is a necessary step in order to ensure that it understands the modular manufacturing process and that the owner understands what the AHJ will or will not accept.

‘That lets the owner incorporate whatever modular components that they’re going to allow into the construction documents on the front end rather than trying to figure it out on the back end after [they’ve] already submitted for permits,” he adds.

Ensuring alignment with the AHJ is key to preserving project timelines. Later in the piece, Josh shares that “without that advance work, permitting can stretch out for additional months if the applicant submits paperwork that ends up being rejected by the AHJ.”

Across all markets, modular design and construction is growing in popularity as it helps reduce project budgets and timelines while preserving high design quality. The process can also help contractors and owners better address worker shortages, construction site safety and more.

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