Building Beyond Codes: The Legalities of Innovative Construction

April 16, 2024


Innovation has greatly improved the quality of protective equipment. / Pexels




Innovative construction is everywhere in our modern world, increasing sustainability, efficiency, and broadening the horizons of architectural possibility.


But are these new practices always in line with building code? This article provides a comprehensive look at popular new techniques and examines their legality. Learn whether you can trust these innovative processes or if you should think twice!

What is innovative construction?

An innovative building practice is a method that is different from the traditional way something is done. With the rapid technological advancement of recent decades, construction has seen a major improvement in its techniques.

Benefits of innovative building practices

New methods of construction have many benefits, such as:


  • Increased sustainability
  • Efficient solutions to difficult problems
  • Improved safety
  • Higher quality

Building codes

Innovative construction must abide by building codes, or the rules that ensure all construction is safe. Some codes are laws set by governments, while others are adopted by a company to make their projects more sustainable.


For example, a large portion of building codes pertain to fire safety. Buildings must have clearly marked exits for quick escapes, smoke alarms, and fire extinguishers in easily accessible areas.


Another crucial example is when a building isn’t given enough support with beams or other walls. This often happens when people demolish interior walls without checking whether the rest of the structure is strong enough to hold the weight of the building.

Innovative building practices and their legality

Innovative building practices are revolutionizing the way we think about construction. But, do they always meet building codes?

3D printing

Did you know it’s possible to 3D print a house? A large robotic arm can “print” a building by depositing a cement mixture in layers. It’s a faster and safer way to build.


The technology is also used to create prototypes and models of projects. It helps builders visualize the architecture and provides a better idea of what the finished product will look like than pictures.


Patti Harburg-Petrich of Buro Happold says that the reason we haven’t seen widespread use of 3D printing technology is building codes. Even though it offers benefits in speed, safety, and sustainability, building codes haven’t caught up, meaning that there are few regulations on the technology, and companies cannot use it yet.


Drones have many incredible uses on construction sites, such as:


  • Site surveys
  • Progress tracking
  • Measurements
  • Site monitoring
  • Inspections


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) outlines regulations for commercial drone use. If companies want to cooperate with construction codes, they must adhere to the FAA’s rules, which include:


  • Mandatory remote pilot certifications
  • Speed cap of 100 miles per hour
  • Altitude cap of 400 feet
  • Drones cannot fly over people
  • Flights can only take place during the day


Drones enhance everyday safety, but to comply with codes, employers must go through the process of innovative construction law case work if any accidents or injuries occur.


Another innovation driving the new generation of building practices is applications. Most people have a smartphone that can download apps, meaning that they’re easily accessible from almost anywhere!


Apps can help with keeping records of the project, tracking the amount of time employees spend working, and sending invoices. It’s truly a game-changer for busy professionals.


Advancements in technology have made it possible for pieces of a building to be made in a factory and then transported to the construction site, a process called prefabrication.


Prefabrication increases the uniformity of the parts needed to build a structure, which often makes buildings safer. The process also saves time since most of the structures are built in a factory and just need to be assembled later.


This process makes it easier to comply with building codes since all parts are made exactly the same!

Modern safety equipment

Another innovation in the construction world is updated modern safety equipment. Employees often wear safety gear to protect from unexpected hazards and unsafe conditions.


Advanced technology has allowed for the use of new, better materials and designs for protective equipment, making employees safer on the job, which helps projects meet building codes!

Innovation vs. building codes

Balancing innovation with building codes can be tricky—codes often don’t change as quickly as modern technology does, creating an effect where rules and regulations lag behind the newest methods in construction.


However, this has proven to be a good thing overall. Even though they’re slow to change, codes provide construction sites with much-needed guidelines for safety!


Most innovative practices are in line with building code, and the ones that aren’t will catch up soon. In the meantime, construction sites will continue to enjoy new technology and revolutionary methods!


Urban Splatter

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