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In March 2012, the Fiatech Regulatory Streamlining Steering Committee released its final report on the successful completion of “AutoCodes Project, Phase 1, Proof-of-Concept.” This game-changing project ultimately will demonstrate the ability to develop automated code-checking rule sets.
In concert with the International Code Council (ICC), 14 jurisdictions, and independent software developers, the AutoCodes project demonstrated in Phase 1 the benefits of automated plan checking specifically for access and egress provisions for a retail structure. That phase also conducted a comparative analysis of automated code checking versus traditional 2D (paper) plan reviews.
The Regulatory Streamlining Steering Committee was already engaged in developing Phase 2. The objectives of this phase were: (1) to expand development of rule sets for other occupancy classifications and construction codes; and (2) to develop training materials to aid jurisdictions in transitioning from traditional to electronic plan review and ultimately to automated code checking.
In 2013, this project has established a set of work teams to:
The long-term objectives of the AutoCodes project include development of an extensive, open-source rule set library that will be approved and adopted by industry and regulatory bodies alike. The rule sets are to be used by technology developers in commercial applications and by code officials for the next generation of design, construction, and facility management.
Regulatory compliance remains a tedious, time-consuming, and costly discipline. While building officials, construction owners, architects, designers, and engineers have long understood the critical importance of timely, accurate, and uniform code review, relatively little progress has been made on improving and modernizing this outdated regulatory process. Applying new thinking and technology is gaining momentum. Numerous building and planning departments are investigating methods for streamlining processes, including faster and more accurate plan review.
The benefits of digital review processes for all stakeholders include:
This project, which is open to interested Fiatech members, affords both the public and private sectors a mechanism to bring BIM data into the U.S. building regulatory process and thereby reduce plan review time from weeks to minutes. During 2013, activities for Phase 2 included development and release of model guidelines for BIM as well as continuation of the training program “Transitioning to the 2D/3D Digital Review Process—Going Paperless.” That program originally was presented by the committee to the ICC Annual Business Meeting in Portland, Oregon, in October 2012.
Ron Loback, Avolve Software
Thomas Phillips, Target
Avolve Software, Burnham International, Kaiser Permanente, Computecture, Solibri, and Target Corporation
Deliverables include training and outreach materials; open source rule sets for accessibility, egress, and fire and life safety; and a report on Phase 2 containing code-checking guidelines for BIM.