It is no secret that building codes are continuously increasing in number and scale. One will feel like they must jump through many more hoops if they choose to build a home or undertake a remodel project now, instead of a decade or two ago. And though it might feel like the required codes eliminate freedom for design and can often add to the final price tag of the project, each code is designed to keep occupants safe, protect against natural disasters such as fire and earthquakes, and finally, to lessen the environmental impact of the home. If you are like me, when it comes down to it, I am willing to sacrifice esthetics or a few more dollars for a safer, more energy efficient home.
In new homes today, there must be one smoke detector in each bedroom, and one in the space, such as a hallway, leading to the bedrooms. Additionally, each of these smoke detectors must have a battery capable of lasting for 10 years. Bathroom fixtures must be water conscious, with toilets limited to less than 1.28 gallons per flush, and showers must have a flow of less than two gallons per minute.
Many more codes regarding lighting, heating, air filtration, ect, exist nationally, as well as specialized local regulations with regards to the environment. The number and specificity of these codes can be stressful to get ones head around, but that is why interior designers and general contractors are familiar with each code and regulation, and can help you through the process. In the end, you can sleep peacefully knowing the home you are in is safe and environmentally responsible.