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Original Post
At McCain Institutes we have adopted the Code buddy as the study.. We have eliminated entirely our previous workbooks for UBC and are using the Code Buddy in the Architectual training in CAD Design, as Code pertaining to Residential Design required Electrical NEC, Mechanical for UMC, Plumbing the UPC, in the past we used the Code Books with Workbooks for each, as there is just portions of these codes relevant, not to mention the UBC splitting up into so many volumes.. The Code buddy has saved us hundreds of dollars and to date allowed our students the ease of accessing the area of need instantly with the Index.. I can't express my thanks near enough, as I have been teaching Building Codes since 1976, I have never had a tool for codes this good.. If you design, as my graduates work for those who do, the Code Buddy is as much of a tool to the designer as a Hammer is to the Carpenter.

Neil McCain
Director McCain Institute

If nothing else, I have learned that interpretations are personal to each of us and often our localities will help dictate how we view the opinion requests.

We have our own experiences or training from which we draw upon. We are not always 'right' in our decisions or interpretations,but, so long as we can justify our positions on an issue, 'right'
or not, someone has to translate the compilation of codes into action.

I'm sure some participants wonder where on earth
I obtain some of the responses I've issue. I know
I certainly wonder the same of some others'.

Mainly, what I appreciate from this forum is what
dealings and goings-on other jurisdictions must
work with and get a look at how other B.O.'s and
inspectors interpret the code issues at hand.
Our state is leading the nation in ADA civil suits, from that courtroom experience, we form a lot of hard and fast opinions on accessibility,
for example. Hardly a visit to the site goes by
without my learning something. One thing I have
learned, is that in my 'real life', I can't ask too many questions of the parties involved. Often, the situation is not as 'black and white' as at other times. In the forum, we receive a few
details, form a mental picture (from experience
or maybe it's just a 'vision'),express an opinion
and relay it to the masses for further digestion.

Greg Swob, Building Official

I've learned one thing, that everybody in all aspects of the construction industry (especially our government officials like to pass the buck ).They think they are all uncountable. All of our individual homeowner groups and our National group are going to change the laws to make sure this never happens any where again!
JJ Vogel, President Advocates for Quality Home Construction

National Alliance Against Construction Defects

1705 Airline Hwy
PMB 141
Hollister, CA 95023

Chat forums like this, ICBO, JLC and others serve to educate all of use. The advent of the internet will accellerate this educational process. There are many facets to construction and every project has many individuals which all must do their job. Owners must provide adequate funding, builders must also provide quality workmanship, designers a good set of plans, plans reviewers a good review and inspectors a good inspection. If any one person does not do their part the project is unlikely to yield a quality project.
The biggest problems is a them against us attitude rather than a we together.

There are many good builders, designers, inspectors and plans reviewers around. However there needs to be many more. Money (funding) is the key today as in years past.
I am always avaiable to assist anyone with a construction problem be it design, code or otherwise. ( or

I have learned that a group of people reading essentially the same code can come up with a multitude of interpretations. That could be from operating under three model codes and hundreds of thousands of different manuals, codes, statutes, etc, etc, etc. This especially is true to handicapped accessibility. I am handicapped and I feel half of the requirements are BS. But I always remember that the world cannot continue to turn without litigation and "the industry".

Mike Myers

I agree that forums such as this one serve to educate everyone. I know I've learned A LOT in this one. I do believe that the differing interpretations we see indicate a need for more training funding and for code writing bodies to offer more interpretive material to help code users to understand the material. I speak with the voice of someone new to codes; my work is primarily with the ADAAG, not some of the really established codes like UBC or BOCA.
459.24 in reply to 459.22

I use the Code Buddy for Design/Bid lessons for General Construction and again for Architectual Design (CAD). For years I used my own video tapes for a Basic knowledge of the Building Codes. I teach Continuing Education for Electrical Codes and that I still use my own videos and audio tapes which are the same courses taught in Seminar, but for the Building codes I use the "Code Buddy", first using the Divisions one at a time and then expanding with the help files. Used as a Tutorial and not the Design, as each State has their own Addendas usually in Yellow Pages that are as large as the UBC. Basic Code Standards is what we deal with daily, but when a specific area has weather or geographical differences, those are usually addressed by local and State codes. Building a house would not be difficult using only the Code Buddy, but for Industrial & Commercial work you may have to have more information.. But even the Addendas will refer to UBC as the standard. I don't know of any instance that lower standards were adopted, only stronger requirements. I highly reccomend the "Code Buddy" for information and the grounding of code principals that other codes start from.
Sorry about my first opinion, seems that after a few court appearances I am like the Policeman that only sees the criminal, I suspect code questions when I don't know the person.
Neil McCain
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Couldn't locate the evaluation form, but here goes anyway!
As a code official for some 15 years, I wished this forum had been in existence then. You tend to be secretive about your administration of the code, so you don't look foolish before your close peers. Here we can share and openly discuss mutual and unique situations, and philosophies. We can help each other, give advice, and provide added resources and thoughts-- that's comforting, and so very helpful. I would think that the folks still in the trenches would be most appreciative of this information and forum, and the cogent thoughts of their colleagues.
Simply!--- its is a great opportunity to become better, to share, and to help others.

Ralph, Architect

There are definitely many different opinions, but if code officials are to gain the respect and
cooperation of the industry, we need to be able to gain consensus. That means that, at least part of the time, I have to "give in a little" to
achieve consistency with other code officials.

The single most frustrating experience I've encountered in my 18 years of code enforcement has been sitting in a code class, having a code section dissected and clearly defined, and hear others say, "well, that's not how WE'RE going to enforce it". We need to admit we are not all experts, and I can still learn from
others about code issues.

The one thing I would like to see occur in these discussions is to cite a code reference to support our "opinions". As Greg Keith says, "If you look till you find a reference that suppots your opinion, you're probably not correct." The code giveth and the code taketh away (by exception). Taking sections out of context can lead to being very sure about a wrong conclusion.

David Bylkas


"Is anyone learning from the BCDG?"....heck yes! We are.........I posted this somewhere else, but here it goes again (its worth repeating) Smile ....
THE BCDG is by far the best site for building code information and resources. Kudos to the people that administer the BCDG for providing such a quality forum to receive information and witness the in-depth discussions between professionals in the business.

What a valuable resource for training for all the building codes! I had no idea that such a powerful and free resource was available. I feel guilty already that I'm getting such valuable information and don't have to pay for it. How do you guys do that (your valuable time helping others like that) Confused My colleagues and I are just thankful that you do and thank your employers and jurisdictions that allow you to take time to contribute like you do here. We feel that we missed out not finding the site earlier in our careers. It would have saved us so much time and aggravation.....since most of what we struggle with you discuss and analyze in this forum daily.

Just by reading your back and forth opinions one can learn so much. THANK YOU THANK YOU.

I'm so impressed with the insight afforded by the likes of ralph, adaguy, codeyman, rlga, the enforcer, ED ( would this forum be without him), Sharon, codeposter, brentw, needtolearn,handler, jurgen and many many more that I got to know by reading their commentaries..

Whenever we have a need for code opinions or why certain code sections are worded in a certain way...we start by researching the BCDG. Designers and code officials that are not using this site daily, as one of their resources, are so missing out!!!

Keep up the good work and many many thanks!

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