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Building Codes - The Foundation of America's History

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BSW 2As we continue to highlight Building Safety Week here at BDS, and across America, I came across this story about the early American settlers and how they helped to transform building tools and techniques.

Throughout the centuries, builders adapted their techniques to their surroundings. For example, New England colonists used poles, stones and string to help them set posts upright and deep into the ground. During the long, frigid winters, frost heaves would forcibly move posts that were not set deeply enough as the ground froze and thawed.

BSW 1Gradually, each town learned to set posts to a depth below the frost line, the point below which the ground remained unfrozen. Accrued experience guided construction efforts so successfully that a number of those original houses are still standing today. Much of that expertise became part of the local building code.

Today’s building safety and fire prevention codes used in the City of Portland address all aspects of construction from structural soundness of buildings to the reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems to plumbing and mechanical systems to energy efficiency and sustainability.

Check out the BDS Blog tomorrow for tips on how building codes will make your summer safer!

Alisa Cour,

Public Information Manager

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