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Start of Main ContentRegulatory Preparation

After a building technology has been engineered, its further development is guided by the manufacturer's need to meet market requirements. Even if a manufacturer has developed a promising technology that is desperately needed in the housing industry, it must satisfy basic concerns associated with public health and safety. Building technology must satisfy the requirements of state and local building codes. These building codes tend to be prescriptive and because they can not always anticipate new technology, they likely lag behind initial deployment of new technology. As such users of new technology will have to seek regulatory approval on the basis of equivalent performance with other technology that meets the code.

Requirements and their building code administration are always at the top of any list of barriers to a building technology's deployment. PATH supports the goals of the building regulatory process, but sees new regulatory assistance programs as a key to support new technology market deployment while ensuring state and local requirements can continue to address the public heath, safety, and welfare.

Regulatory Evaluation-National Evaluation Services (NES)

The building regulatory system in the United States can be very complicated and difficult to negotiate for anyone not intimately familiar with the process. To help manufacturers address the issue of building code compliance, PATH has collaborated with the National Evaluation Service (NES) to provide a number of services. NES is an independent, nonprofit organization that conducts a voluntary and advisory program for evaluation of building materials, products, and systems with respect to U.S. building codes. The goal of NES is to facilitate the introduction and use of new building technology within the current building regulatory infrastructure. NES, among other things, develops technical reports containing descriptions of a building construction materials or products with respect to code compliance and a list of conditions necessary to ensure compliance with each of the model building codes.

NES has in development the following services in support of PATH and offers many other services in support of new technology acceptance:

  • The Technical Assistance Program assists building product manufacturers in understanding and addressing issues related to code compliance and acceptance early in the product development cycle.

  • Protocol for Durability Assessment of Building Products and Systems is an evaluation protocol that can guide the determination and statement of durability-related findings for both building products and assemblies of products. The publication is available on theNES Web site.

  • Protocol for Insulating Concrete Form (ICF) will help manufacturers of ICF technology prepare for an evaluation of their technology, if they so choose, by the NES with respect to U.S. model building codes. The publication is available on the NES Web site.

  • Protocol for Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) will help determine the acceptability of various SIP products in meeting building construction regulations and other issues that are important to the performance and acceptance of SIP technology. Development is underway with a draft expected in early 2002.

  • Introduction to U.S. Building Code Process describes the development, adoption, and implementation of building codes and standards. The document also describes how building technology research and development efforts are undertaken with a discussion on the integration of the two processes to facilitate the more timely introduction and use of new building technology. Availability is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2002.

Contact Information

David Conover
5203 Leesburg Pike, Suite 600
Falls Church, VA 22041-3401
Tel 703 931-2187
Fax 703 931-6505

Dana Bres
451 7th Street, SW, Room 8134
Washington, DC 20410-0001
(202) 708-4370

Regulatory Structural Change-National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS)

PATH considers long-term changes in U.S. building codes. To help future manufacturers develop their technologies, PATH works with the staff at the National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards (NCSBCS) in their Streamlining the Nation's Building Regulatory Process work.

On behalf of America's governors and their chief building regulatory officials, NCSBCS promotes the development of an efficient, cooperative system of building regulation to ensure the public's safety in all buildings, residential and commercial. Since 1967, NCSBCS has provided to the public and private sectors a national forum for coordinating building code and public safety interests and for discussing issues and concerns about building construction codes and regulations.

The Streamlining project is a cooperative effort among 55 national organizations and Federal, State, regional, and local governments to improve economic development, public safety, and environmental quality. The project will bring better management practices to the regulation of the siting, design, and construction of all types of buildings throughout the United States.

Since early 2001, NCSBCS has coordinated the activities of the National Alliance for Building Regulatory Reform in the Digital Age. In October 2002, the Alliance's Steering Committee adopted an implementation plan for the Alliance's Action Agenda. That plan divided the Alliance's work into three phases. At the end of March 2002, through the in-kind services and funding support of a number of members and affiliates, NCSBCS completed Phase I, the organizational phase. Each of the Alliance's three working groups—Steering Committee, Technology Task Force and Planning and Coordinating Task Force—have held their first meetings, adopted mission statements, and initiated work on their action items.

In addition to holding these meetings during Phase I, the Alliance has:

  • established on the NCSBCS Web site a listing of software currently available for jurisdictions to use in their building regulatory and emergency response functions;
  • begun work on the conceptualization of a secure nationwide, state-maintained, database of building designs and evacuation plans for critical structures for use by first responders;
  • reviewed interoperable software being used in the U.S. and overseas to regulate the design and construction of buildings;
  • prepared for placement on the Alliance portion of the NCSBCS website a listing of models of streamlining processes being successfully used in states and localities to reduce the regulatory cost of construction.
The Alliance has also met with representatives from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to update them on the Alliance's progress.

NCSBCS looks forward to continuing to fulfill the adopted Vision Statement—strengthening our public's safety and our economy by helping our nation's construction industry build "better, safer, faster and at less cost."

Contact Information

505 Huntmar Park Drive, Suite 210
Herndon, VA 20170
Tel 703 437-0100

Dana Bres
451 7th Street, SW, Room 8134
Washington, DC 20410-0001
(202) 708-4370

Content updated on 10/29/2002 Back to Top Back to Top
HUD Partnership for Advancing
Technology in Housing (PATH)
451 7th Street, SW, Rm. 8134
Washington, DC 20410-0001
Telephone: 202 708-4370   Fax: 202 708-5873
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