Codes and standards keep the wheels turning

Unlike a hamster wheel, on which the rodent goes nowhere, codes and standards can take engineers anywhere and everywhere

By Amara Rozgus December 31, 2019

The most complex part about reaching the Consulting-Specifying Engineer audience is that the brand has to be all things to all people. Some audience members want only fire and life safety topics. Others need all things energy efficiency. Some managers want a broad swath of topics to help educate their younger team members.

And much like any other medium, anything goes. Print magazines are in high demand. Webcasts and education are a necessity for most professionals. Bite-sized lists of topical articles and resources, like in a newsletter, are easily digested.

What, then, is really the “best” content? What’s most important for a professional with 35 years of experience? What does someone with 10 years in the consulting engineering world need to know? The answer is, “It depends.”

The No. 1 topic requested in all Consulting-Specifying Engineer research studies is codes and standards. Whether we’ve surveyed lighting designers, automation and controls experts or mechanical engineers, the answer never changes.

Codes, standards, guidelines and regulations truly keep the wheels of engineering running. Without these playbooks for how to design or specify a system, the building market would be flooded with haphazard designs, inefficient systems and unsafe products.

And the top articles that have been published by Consulting-Specifying Engineer this year include mostly codes- or standards-related articles. Best practices, insights on new code versions or “how to specify” with a particular code or standard flooded the top 10 articles of 2019.

The associations that function as code-governing bodies have their work cut out for them. Codes typically are on a three-year cycle, with several revisions, comment periods and committee discussions held during that time. These organizations should be lauded for keeping up-to-date versions available to engineers, authorities having jurisdiction and others allied with the building and engineering field.

If you’ve been trying to figure out how to jump-start your career for 2020, get off the hamster wheel. Consider gaining a deeper understanding of codes and standards, and how they affect building design and construction.

Author Bio: Amara Rozgus is the Editor-in-Chief/Content Strategy Leader