Thoughts on construction law from Christopher G. Hill, Virginia construction lawyer, LEED AP, mediator, and member of the Virginia Legal Elite in Construction Law

Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up?

Naffa International For this week’s Guest Post Friday, Musings welcomes Imad Naffa. Imad is the Founder and President of NAFFA International, a private Building Code Consulting Services company in Fresno, CA. He is also the Developer and Administrator of the Building Code Discussions Group (BCDG), one of the largest building code online communities on the internet with 19,000+ members from 100+ countries.

You can also find him on the web where he runs a blog that deals with Building, Fire and Accessibility /ADA codes along with news affecting the Design, Construction, Real Estate, LEED/Green and Code Enforcement Communities.

You can follow Imad on Twitter at @imadnaffa. If you have technical questions related to Building, Fire and Accessibility/ADA Codes, Imad would be happy to respond by email.

I used to pride myself on being able to keep up with the latest developments in the building codes, construction and related disciplines. But lately, I have been inundated with so much information that I struggle to keep up!

Maybe I brought all this on myself by being “over connected” on so many levels and platforms (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Google News, our company’s websites, the BCDG, etc).

Every day it seems there are new building codes, new standards and new legislation affecting the design, construction and code enforcement sectors. I’m afraid the average designer, architect, builder and code official will not be able to keep up, and who can blame them? New terms are taking center stage, especially in Social Media. LEED and Green topics are leading the way these days. It seems everyone wants to have “LEED AP” after their name or having projects that are LEED certified! Somehow the word is out that Green is in and you’d better be ready. Now new Green building codes are coming out or planned for the near future on the local, state and federal levels.

Buzz words of yesterday in my field were: Life-safety, means of egress, accessibility and fire-resistive construction. Today, all I hear is Green, LEED, sustainable, renewable!

I’m often asked how designers, builders, code officials and anyone with related fields are expected to keep track of the so many ever-changing codes and standards, along with added legislation that affects design, construction and code enforcement sectors. If I had to sum it in one word, it would be Leverage!

There are simply too many codes to keep track of! Too many standards! Too many regulations! In the old days, we had books and folders and 3-ring binders. Today, those references alone simply would not cut it. It’s too slow, too archaic. Relying on the expertise available only within your office may not cut muster with so much information available beyond our circle of influence.

In today’s design, construction and code enforcement offices, the right technology and platforms must be some of the components in our arsenal. By leverage, I mean having a trusted, experienced, proactive and technology-savvy professional(s) on your side that you can consult with and bounce off ideas. Having multiple online resources, that you are comfortable using (such as News Feeds, FB, Twitter, Technical Forums geared towards your specialty (for me, it’s the BCDG) and other Social Media platforms); ready to provide you with targeted, fast and efficient stream of information and second opinions in becoming more and more a must to stay current.

Especially in this state of the economy, in order to stay competitive and relevant, you are expected to know about many technical topics and be able to search for the information fast and efficiently. The days of specializing in only one area are slowly ending.

The future will demand what I call “utility” engineers, architects, builders, plan examiners and inspectors that are trained in more than one discipline and that are able to locate relevant information and solutions fast and efficiently. The ones that are able to combine on-going training, experience with technology will stay competitive, relevant and in demand as the economy turns around and jurisdictions and companies retool.

A resource, like Twitter for example, can be used in a business setting to stay on top of the latest developments and news in a particular specialty. There are numerous movers and shakers that are supplying timely information about construction, design, legal aspects dealing with construction and design, and no shortage of great posters for LEED and Green topics. In my course of posting on Twitter, and after sifting through thousands of potential posters, I frequently mention and “Re-Tweet” some of my favorite people providing excellent stream of information in related fields. So stay tuned for my daily posts!

Builders, Attorneys, Architects, Code Officials, Real Estate and Sustainability/Green experts are all tied together and can learn from each other. Some of the Social Media and other online platforms are making this possible more than ever.

I have found dozens of individuals providing quality and timely information that I’m seeking in my fields or interest. Following them is a part of my journey and I consider powerful Continuing Education that allows me to meet the brightest minds in the business from throughout the world.

Do what you have to and stay on top of your game and don’t be left out!

If you enjoy this and other Guest Post Fridays, please subscribe to keep up with the latest Musings or join the conversation with a comment below.

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42 Responses to Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up?

  1. Twitter Comment


    Thank you @constructionlaw: How can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post]

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    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA [link to post] (via @cheshomes)

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  3. Thank you Chris for the opportunity!

    I didn’t expect that much feedback and kind RT’s so soon from many on Twitter. I may have hit a chord with some on this subject and may do a follow up.

    The construction, design and code enforcement sectors are going through warp speed changes and we all can use all the help we can.

    I look forward to seeing comments on here and will be checking back.

    If I can be of help in the future, just let me know.

    Warm regards,

    Imad

  4. Chris/Imad:

    Thanks for this posting. As a participant in the residential/light commercial construction industry I do find keeping abreast of building codes, technology trends and marketing fads daunting. It’s comforting to know that expertise exists and through information exchange via social media outlets like Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, etc. networking to knowledge sources happens quickly and with relative ease.

    Keep up the terrific work you are doing…the greater community benefits as a result.

  5. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post] (via @constructionlaw)

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  6. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post] ( @imadnaffa )

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  7. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Constr. Professionals Keep Up? [link to post] ( @imadnaffa) #livesafe

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  8. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post] (via @imadnaffa)

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  9. Twitter Comment


    @imadnaffa Good article! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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  10. Mike,

    Glad to help. Imad is a great resource on much of this stuff. Let me know if I can help out with anything.

  11. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? (via @imadnaffa) – [link to post]

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    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post]

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  13. Twitter Comment


    Architects and builders…great info source for compliance issues via our friends @imadnaffa and @constructionlaw : [link to post]

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  14. Twitter Comment


    THANK you all for your kind words and reception of article & @constructionlaw for allowing me the platform to share: [link to post]

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    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? – [link to post]. http://friendfeed.com/e/8f0c3d6e-f65c-4c75-8c0c-87b63574909b

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  16. Tweets that mention Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? | Construction Law Musings- Richmond, VA -- Topsy.com says:

    […] this page was mentioned by Chris Morgan (@cmorgancacivil), Architectural Record (@archrecord), Christopher Hill (@constructionlaw), Imad Naffa (@imadnaffa), Imad Naffa (@imadnaffa) and others. […]

  17. Twitter Comment


    Good construction law blog from Imad Naffa [link to post]

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  18. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post]

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  19. […] S­ee mo­r­e her­e: Ch­anging L­ands­cape­: H­o­w­ Can Co­ns­tructio­n… […]

  20. Imad’s forum is a great resource, and our ADA/ADAAG/ANSI section is the most popular forum there. Just ask us (the panelists and others) and you may get a lot of answers and some different opinions, but you will be sure to learn a lot. I’m pretty much the “sign guru,” so don’t fail to ask if you have a question about signs. They appear to be a mystery to most people!

    Sharon Toji

  21. Twitter Comment


    Article from @constructionlaw & @imadnaffa – how can construction professionals keep up w/changing codes? [link to post]

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  22. Twitter Comment


    Why social media matters for codes! Go @imadnaffa! [link to post]

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    Changing Landscape: How can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post] http://friendfeed.com/e/383f5855-c19c-4db7-a1c1-45c367e526cf

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  24. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up?-100th post (from @imadnaffa) [link to post] (via @SHHealthcareLaw)

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  25. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up?-100th post (from @imadnaffa) [link to post]

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  26. Imad, I enjoy reading your comments first of all. I was wondering what would be the best source for futures changes in the building codes and ANSI in regards to Tank-less (Instantaneous) water heaters and the flue pipe I will be launching out product ECOHOT in two months? I do want to be up to date on the changes in the future to prepare in advance for new models. One of them being; dealing with the condensation and treating the water before going into a drain. Also are we required to have PUC certificate? I noticed that not all tank-less WH’s have PUC. We have SCAQMD, CSA, Energy Star, and Space Heating.

    Thank You, for your time.

    Any advise would be appreciated.

  27. James, I’ll let Imad know of your comment. Thanks for stopping by. He is @imadnaffa on twitter if you want to follow him.

  28. James-

    Thank you!

    One of the best resources to gather information from Code Enforcement and Design individuals is to post your inquiries on our Building Code Discussions Group (BCDG).

    There are over 19k members on there with varied expertise and the group is very active in dispensing code-related information related to all codes, code development, acceptance of new products and technologies, etc.

    You can access the BCDG from this link: http://bcodes.infopop.cc/eve

    After you register, you may choose the 14-day free trial membership to post your questions in the most appropriate forums (there are 24). The BCDG has also Individual and Corporate membership if you choose to continue using the code discussions and interaction with experts.

    If you need assistance, just email me at imad@bcodes.com

    Warm regards,

    Imad

  29. I would like to add one more suggestion to your highly informative list. There is an online resource called Construction Wire ( http://www.constructionwire.com/), where you could find project reports of big construction works held in the past years. This is not all, the resource gives you information about some of the biggest project biddings and you can also participate in them via the site. It is a helpful site for construction professionals.

  30. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up?-100th post: [link to post]

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  31. Twitter Comment


    Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? [link to post] #construction

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  32. Twitter Comment


    RT @constructionlaw: One of the more popular Guest Post Friday’s of 2009 by @imadnaffa [link to post] /Thank you Chris!

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  33. […] of Transportation construction is the Evermore Community Improvement District, a group of …Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep …A great discussion on how to keep up with the changing construction, Leed, green, and other constant […]

  34. Leverage is correct! you don’t have to read everything to stay up to day but read a few articles on your industry and see what others are doing. Look at your metal roofing suppliercompetitors as well too.

  35. Thanks for the link to the discussion group BCDG http://bcodes.infopop.cc/eve. I might try the free trial first then see how we go. Kudos on the very detailed article as well.

  36. Thanks for the link too! Great write up especially since there is a lot to keep up on in codes and building.

  37. Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? http://bit.ly/GYfvp #construction #buildingcodes

  38. RT @imadnaffa: Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? http://bit.ly/GYfvp #construction #buildingcodes #architects

  39. RT @imadnaffa: Changing Landscape: How Can Construction Professionals Keep Up? http://bit.ly/GYfvp #construction #buildingcodes #architects

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