The North Carolina building code is in place so that home owners, contractors and architects follow a minimum standard of safety for the construction of, or modification of buildings. The International build code is used as a model throughout the United States with each state government adding amendments. The local government enforces the building code through the issuing of building permits, and subsequent inspections required for occupancy.

North Carolina has been ahead of the curve when it comes to regulating the construction of buildings for the protection of the public. The first laws enacted in 1903 and then 1905 regulated the materials and the methods used in construction. In 1933 a Building Code Council was established in cooperation with the office of insurance to write the initial North Carolina Building code. It was first adopted in 1935, and passed by the North Carolina Assembly in 1941. In 1957 the state legislature rewrote the 1933 law, and expanded the the responsibility of the building code council.

The North Carolina Building Code is a baseline for building regulations. A local government can adopt any building regulation that is tougher than the state code, but it cannot be more lenient. The local government must get the approval of the North Carolina Building Code Council for any changes or amendments to its local building code. The present day North Carolina building code is based on the 2003 International building code, with amendments added by the North Carolina Building Code Council.

The North Carolina Building Code was put in place with an eye toward protecting the public from any dangerous or unsanitary conditions in design and construction. They are minimum standards for contractors, engineers, architects and enforcement officials to follow. The North Carolina Building Code Council can amend the code whenever new materials and methods are developed.

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