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10 Code Violations in Green Construction

Framing and Structure

Within reason, steel- and wood-framed homes can pass code inspection. Alternate building types such as straw bale and rammed Earth are a little more difficult to breeze through on a code inspection checklist.

That's because traditional building codes generally require structural checks, and have measures based on engineering load calculation for roofs, walls and supports, and spans. Many of these codes come from analyses of structures that fail in different environmental conditions, such as high winds, or from buildings that simply fail, or fall, over time. Applying these principals to green residential construction techniques doesn't work much of the time, and specific green codes are incomplete or not uniform depending on location.

Framing and providing a skeleton of Earth and clay requires getting engineers and inspectors involved at the local level early rather than later. Sometimes a builder, sustainable home manufacturer and a building department may need to hash out the details before a structure can pass the often non-existent code for the building type, but typically, all involved want a safe structure for inhabitants and neighbors.