For the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry, regulatory code compliance can be one of the challenging aspects of design-build projects—due to the variations in building and safety codes across the country. However, a new automated code-checking tool could help.

In January, FIATECH,, Austin, Texas, launched a new automated code-checking project, AUTOCodes, to demonstrate the ability to develop and deliver rule sets for the ICC’s (Intl. Code Council) Intl. Building Code.

With advancing technology-enabled processes and tools such as BIM (building information modeling), the methods of checking codes can become a bit more efficient. The AUTOCodes project’s goal is to validate the use of technology for code-compliance assessment and to help accelerate the regulatory approval process using building models.

The project is accomplished through multiple parties comparing and analyzing traditional, manual plan reviews against model-based reviews. For example, in April, code officials and plan-check engineers from across the country performed manual reviews of a 2D building plan that was offered by Target Corp.,, Minneapolis, Minn. The 2D plan set was derived from a model of the store prototype.

The results will be analyzed as part of the development of AUTOCode Accessibility and Egress rule sets, and that will be used by the same volunteer group on the store prototype of the 3D model. The project will also focus on Fire and Life Safety Code rule sets.

In the long run, the project will develop an extensive, open-source rule set library that will be available for use by technology developers and code officials. FIATECH plans to have the open-source rule set library approved by the industry and regulatory bodies.

In today’s technology-progressive culture, this project is a step toward reducing the time-consuming and costly regulatory compliance process, ultimately helping code officials and the AEC industry expedite approvals.