Thursday, September 24, 2015

Germany Reversing Its Super Tough Building Codes

Germany. known for its super restrictive, hi-performance building codes is rethinking the whole process.

This year Germany began accepting Syrian refugees in huge numbers only to find that there is not adequate housing available for them. What to do?

Enter the mayors and city planners from all the major cities that have agreed to house them. They have pushed the German government to rethink the strict housing codes for both site built and for the large modular housing industry located there.

Easing the codes to a more realistic level will open housing to the refugees and also allow the cities to rehab vacant multi-family housing units and build new modular apartment buildings without the constraints forced on them which delayed a lot of projects.

Now that is the way it should work.

Enter Hurricane Sandy which wiped out thousands and thousands of homes in NJ, NY and other states. Instead of the Federal government and code officials relaxing the regulations to get these people back into new homes, they tightened the codes both on the state and local level to the point where a lot of people couldn't afford to rebuild simply because they couldn't afford the extra tens of thousands of dollars needed to meet the 'after Sandy' code requirements.

Wake up America. It's time to take a look at our building codes and decide if we want homes that cost so much extra that people can't afford them or do we want to see new home construction as the backbone of our national recovery.

I think the decision is an easy one but small minded government workers keep pushing housing codes to the point that builders will finally say "enough already" and slow down production.

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