Building Code Resources

| September/October 2005

Getting a building permit for an alternative building project will take some research and personal involvement with local building officials who have the authority to approve alternative materials, designs and methods of construction.

To improve the chances of success when submitting your application for an alternative building project, include references to similar projects that have been granted building permits and are located as close to yours as possible.

You can find supportive information from the following Web sites:

Green Home Building
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
Ecological Building Network
Smart Communities Network
12/20/2006 12:00:00 AM

In England you need a structural engineer who is willing to think outside outside the box, if necessary, to check loads, compressive and breaking strengths,etc. We have building control who need to be consulted for official building projects. They check adherence to building codes. You can download those. The combination of those two and yourself will determine your success, together with any other transferable skills brought to the project.

12/6/2006 12:00:00 AM

Counties that lack an on-board engineer well versed in alternative systems or bldgs. will knee-jerk react to refuse permits on alternatives, even if they are described in Code / legal otherwise.Your job is to have enough substantive data and ability to answer all questions satisfactorily to get them to permit what you want. If you cannot do that, get someone who can help you do it.Another route:learn what size/ parameters constitute a "no permit" bldg., and fit your alternative bldg[s] to that.

12/6/2006 12:00:00 AM

Getting alternative bldgs permitted sometimes requires adapting existing code descriptions to the unusual bldgs.; ie; a Monolithic Dome is a "ferro-cement" bldg.; a $50 Underground House might fit under description of 4-square mining supports; and Earthbag bldg. might fit under compacted earth bldg.Currently, Codes have no classification for "zero-discharge" waste systems. Travesty! These do not pollute ground like regular septics do!Could these slide in under combo of composting toilets and constructed wetlands?

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