Home construction professionals have adapted their building methods over the years, incorporating new technologies, responding to structural problems and satisfying clients' ever-changing aesthetic desires.
The problem for Oklahoma builders has been that until recently state codes didn't address many of the methods they used on site and “you had to be an engineer” to understand other aspects of the codes, said Todd Booze, president of construction for Ideal Homes and chairman of the planning committee for the upcoming Oklahoma Building Summit.
The Oklahoma Uniform Building Code, which went into effect in 2010, changed all that.
The Oklahoma Building Summit, to be presented by the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association on Sept. 18, will be tailored to address members' growing interest in complying with the code. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Reed Center in Midwest City. Admission is $75 before Wednesday and $100 after.
The event, in its fifth year, was previously known as the Oklahoma Green Building Summit.
Although energy efficiency “remains one focus” of the annual meeting, Booze said, the Uniform Building Code emphasizes three other key areas that will be tracked as part of the summit: structural framing for walls and roofs; foundations, soils and concrete; and legal issues, including torts and warranties for contractors and builders.
Booze recently showed visitors to northwest Oklahoma City's Valencia addition homes in the framing stage that reflect some of the methodologies incorporated in the new code.
He pointed out examples of narrow wall bracing — critical in modern homes with numerous, large widows that don't allow space for traditional bracing between them.
“We can't build a tornado-proof house,” Booze said, but the new codes “are driven by what physics and engineering have taught us” about the best practices for the strongest possible construction.
A neighboring house was receiving its Tyvek wrap, a weather shield — but the specifics of how such products are to be installed depending on what siding material is to be applied “hasn't been covered” by codes till now, Booze said.