May 19, 2021Reading Time: 3 minutes
The International Code Council (ICC) is a nonprofit association that brings together local, state, and federal officials who are experts in the built environment to develop model codes and standards used worldwide to construct safe, sustainable, affordable, and resilient structures. The international codes that are developed by the ICC are the most widely adopted building safety and fire prevention codes in the world.
Every May, the ICC sponsors “Building Safety Month” to educate the public about the vital role modern building codes play in keeping our homes and communities strong and resilient, and the critical role of the oftentimes unknown protectors of public safety––registered architects––who assure us of safe, sustainable, energy-efficient and livable buildings that are essential to a community’s well-being. A community’s smart growth and strength depend on the safety and economic value of the homes, buildings, and infrastructure that serve its citizens, both in
everyday life and in times of disaster. Confidence in the resilience of buildings and infrastructure is achieved through the devotion of vigilant guardians––––who work year-round to ensure that the public is protected.
The practice of architecture is the rendering of services in connection with the design, construction, enlargement, or alteration of a building or a group of buildings and the space within or surrounding those buildings, which have as their principal purpose human use or habitation. These services include site planning, providing preliminary studies, architectural designs, drawings, specifications, other technical documentation, and administration of construction for the purpose of determining compliance with drawings and specifications.
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment. Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through a dynamic network of more than 250 chapters and more than 95,000 member architects and design professionals, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world.
Both the town and state in which the project is located have regulations that govern a project. An architect should be aware of them and help make sure that your project satisfies them. Zoning regulations, which are published by each town and vary from one town to another, concern the building’s use, size, relationship to the site, and parking. Building codes are published by the state and address how buildings are to be constructed, dictating, for example, door sizes and materials, window sizes and locations, structural lumber sizes, and stair and hallway dimensions. A special section of the code ensures access to public buildings for people with disabilities; it dictates requirements for bathrooms, kitchens, ramps and other building elements.
Registration granted by the NJ State Board of Architects ensures the protection of the public’s health and safety by determining the qualifications of architects seeking licensure in this State, establishing standards for practice, and disciplining licensees who do not adhere to those requirements. Find an AIA NJ Registered Architect in your region HERE. To verify licensure of a provider, click HERE.
The theme for the 2021 Building Safety Month is “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save” to raise awareness of the importance of modern building codes in ensuring safety in the built environment and to recognize the vital service local and state building departments, fire prevention bureaus and federal agencies provide in protecting lives and property. Learn more about ICC’s resources HERE.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in Codes & Regulations, Uncategorized | Tagged: #BuildingCodes, #BuildingSafetyMonth, #CodesandRegulations, #LicensedArchitects, #NJStateBoardofArchiteects, #RegisteredArchitects, #valueoflicensure, ICC | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.