Springfield building codes will be updated to ensure public safety

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Springfield is working on making long term changes to how homes and commercial structures are built and maintained.

It's been years since building codes have been updated.

The city reviews industry standards when it comes to construction, electrical and fire safety measures, every three year but doesn't necessarily make changes.

Now, officials are working to set a new standard.

"We just want to ensure health safety and welfare of all of our citizens," says Springfield Building Development Services Director, Harlan Hill.

He says it's been Springfield's mission to provide safe and affordable housing as well as safe commercial structures for years.

"We just don't want to be caught making changes and adopting codes and ordinances in a vacuum," he says.

Thousands of code violation complaints are submitted to the city every year. A city inspector is required to check out every single one of them.

Based on what they see, Hill believes making changes to improve the safety of a structure while it's being built or improved is the right move.

"It will allow our inspectors to enforce safe housing and compliance," he says.

Updates will be made to codes involving fire safety, building insulation and materials.

"This effort is in conjunction with the professional organizations of our community which include the homeowners association. Springfield Contractors Association and
the Springfield chapter of the American Institute of architects, explains Hill.

Additional improvements also include special inspections for wood-framed structures and updated energy codes.

He says, "It helps our community have the confidence that the structures and the environment that they inhabit and live in is safe. They don't have to think about."

If city council signs off on the building code improvements they will go into effect January 1, 2019.

There will be a three month grace period after that for any violations to the new codes.