eCodes & Standards Libraries
Innovative Practices Committee

Article Written by: Robert Wible, FLATECH

Increasingly we are becoming an interconnected 24/7/365 world. We get our news on any device at anytime via Google (News), and research items via Wikipedia, YouTube, Instagram which now are our top dynamically updated content providers.

The advent and maturing of the internet and cloud services likewise now make it possible for building officials including plan reviewers and inspectors with some services going beyond even the above capabilities. Today building officials have access anywhere, anytime 24/7/365 from several services building codes and standards which their jurisdiction has adopted and now enforce.

These services differ widely from those that provide only pdfs in down loadable files and to those providing even more useable access to codes and standards in a multiple formats further facilitating remote work.

One electronic codes and standards library system now is even affording some building departments the opportunity to have more of their plan reviewers work remotely enabling a jurisdiction’s building department to reduce the amount of office space. In other jurisdictions, this same service is enabling them to meet state laws mandating that they have access to EVERY standard referenced in their adopted codes – eliminating the space and cost of maintaining enormous physical libraries to comply with state law, something very small jurisdictions couldn’t otherwise afford to do.

As a part of the Innovative Practices Committee’s research into new technologies and processes which are available to building departments, the committee looked into existing services which offer in one form or another some degree of electronic codes and standards. Some of these are downloadable PDF’s, others are purely online services to any computer or mobile device.

The accompanying table outlines 6 different services, how they function, which codes and standards they offer and some of the pros and cons of each service.   

Some of these services are relatively new while others have been functioning for 20 years or more. These services range from those which cover a few codes or a few standards produced by a Standards Development Organization or model code group to wider ranging eCodes & Standards services. Some allow for the printing of hardcopy, others only offer PDFs of the documents in their library and another provides complex interactive services where sections of different codes and standards are linked and can be switched between by the click of a key on any electronic device – droids/cell phones, laptops, tablets. Some services even include to varying degrees the ability of the user to take and keep notes on the buildings they are reviewing/inspecting.

Because these services very so widely between their format and content no simple comparison can be made of their pricing.   

We hope you find this table a useful entree into these important services -  part of bringing our building departments deeply into the digital age!

Download Table Here! 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information
provided above, please contact the CALBO Office