New app puts building codes and regulations in the palm of your hand

Once again, TechCrunch (a publication dedicated to covering startup companies in the world of technology) has the scoop on an app for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.

And from what I can tell, this app really is a major game changer. Here’s more:

For architects, complying with building codes means navigating labyrinthine layers of regulations that vary between municipalities. Sorting through different codes and keeping track of updates is a daunting task and, in a worst-case scenario, a mistake can cost thousands or even millions of dollars to tear out and fix. Firms that can afford it hire building code consultants, but a startup called UpCodes wants to make code compliance easier for all builders.

Founded last year by brothers Garrett and Scott Reynolds, UpCodes is currently taking part in Y Combinator. It now has more than 45,000 monthly active users and claims 11 percent growth week-over-week this year. Its app puts building regulations into one place, makes them searchable and adds collaboration tools so team members can research and share notes on projects.

This statement from Scott Reynolds really underscores why this is such a big deal:

“I came out of school where design is freeform and architecture is a very creative endeavor, then got into the workforce and realized how difficult the regulation atmosphere is to navigate,” says Scott. “I realized how difficult it was for me, my colleagues and individuals to understand those codes. It drove me to a point where architecture wasn’t enjoyable any longer.”

And this describes precisely the problem that exists in the built environment. We have all kinds of gifted technical minds working on improving the codes and standards that dictate how various assemblies should be installed. But getting that information into the hands of the tradespeople and draftsmen and other folks on the front lines — especially in a user-friendly format — is extremely difficult.

I hope that the folks at UpCodes are actively pursuing Spanish language translation to truly make this an effective tool for how the construction industry really works.