Preparation and patience are invaluable
Any application to a building department involving an alternative compliance element should be made well in advance of needing the permit to allow the process to go through a few rounds of back-and-forth. Expecting or, worse, demanding a fast turnaround for an alternative compliance application is an invitation to frustration and delays.
Any applicant willing to put the time and effort into making a viable and complete initial submission and diligent enough to follow through with any requests for changes or more information can expect to be rewarded with a building permit. exploring in more detail, and which may not be. Specificity is crucial in making final selection. Not every criterion included in the Criteria Matrix is considered for each material and system option, only those that are most relevant.
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While material and system selections will certainly have major implications for all of these criteria, the overall goals are not affected on a material-by-material basis. It is possible to build a low-maintenance, low-cost, and/or low-labor house using any of the materials and systems presented here. Meeting your goals in these areas is a matter of creating an entire assembly that is suitable the role of any single material or system in that effort will not determine the overall range in which the whole project will fall.
Not every material and system is covered here, and none are covered in detail. Here, you will find enough information to help you decide which options might be right for your project, and you’ll find a list of resources at the back of the blog that will help you learn about each one in more detail. The Criteria Considerations can give you a strong indication of which choices are worth