City of Cambridge to promote May as building safety month

ICC Foundation is sponsoring Building Safety Month throughout May of 2011 to help create community wide recognition and understanding of building safety and sustainability and the critical role of codes and code officials.

The city of Cambridge is taking part in this important event. Each week they will highlight four areas: Energy and Green Building; Disaster Safety and Mitigation; Fire Safety and Awareness; and Backyard Safety. Their goal is to raise public awareness of critical safety issues such as the structural soundness of buildings, reliability of fire prevention and suppression systems, plumbing and mechanical systems, and energy efficiency and sustainability. These issues affect every person, regardless of age or occupation

Meet Your Cambridge Code Officials

Building Official Mike Fabini – Mike is the designated Building Official. Mike has close to 25 years of experience working with owners, builders and designers to assist them in understanding of the State Building Code regulations and has proudly served the city of Cambridge for almost nine years.

Building Inspector Jeff Pleski – Jeff started as a part-time inspector in 2000 and has been employed full time since 2002.  Jeff’s primary job as building inspector is inspecting all residential and commercial construction activity in the city that is regulated by the MN State Building Code. Jeff is also the Facilitator for the East Central Building Official’s and sponsors quarterly education meetings for approximately 15 area code officials.

Community Development Administrative Assistant Carri Levitski – Carri has over 15 years experience in the Community Development and Building Departments and as been with Cambridge for five years. She has served as the Minnesota Building Permit Technician’s Association President, Vice President, and Secretary and assisted to implement a Building Permit Technician Certificate that is offered at both North Hennepin and Inver Hills Community Colleges.

Who Needs Building Codes?

We all do––whether in our homes, offices, schools, stores, factories, or places of entertainment. We rely on the safety of structures that surround us in our everyday living. The public’s need for protection from disaster due to fire, structural collapse, and general deterioration underscores the need for modern codes and their administration.

Why should codes apply to my own house?

• For your personal safety, and that of your family, and the guests invited into your home.

• To ensure the economic well-being of the community by reducing potential spread of fire and disease.

• For the conservation of energy.

• To protect future home purchasers who deserve reasonable assurance that the home they buy will be safe.

What if I want to do a building project myself?

Cambridge’s Building Division has pamphlets and brochures explaining, in detail, how to obtain permits and design and construct a safe building.

What is a building code?

Practically, it is the government’s official statement on building safety. Technically, it is a compendium of minimum safety standards arranged in a systematic manner (codified) for easy reference. It embraces all aspects of building construction––fire, structural, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical.

Talk To Your Local Code Officials

Your code officials want your project to be a success and will help you avoid potential problems that could cost you time and money. You will be asked some basic questions (What are you planning to do? Where?), advised of any requirements, and, if necessary, referred to other departments for their approval. The code official will provide you with the resources and information needed for compliance with the applicable building codes.

Submit Application

At this stage you will document the “Who, What, When, Where, and How” of the job, along with any sketches or plans of the proposed work.

Review Process

In a brief amount of time, a code official will review your plans and determine if your project is in compliance with local requirements. If your plans meet these requirements, a permit is issued.

Receive Permit

Now that you have been approved for a permit, you have legal permission to start construction. A fee, based on the City’s fee schedule, is collected to cover the cost of the application, the review, and the inspection process. Separate permits are typically required for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work.


On-site inspections will be required to make certain the work conforms to the permit, local codes, and plans. Again, you will have access to the expertise of a code official to help you with questions or concerns regarding the project and to minimize potentially costly mistakes. A final inspection is conducted and you will have the personal satisfaction of a job done right. Enjoy your new surroundings with the peace of mind and the knowledge that they meet the safety standards in the City of Cambridge. It takes everyone in a community to keep our homes, schools, offices, stores, and other buildings safe for public use. Your safe construction practices help protect you, your family, your friends, and your investment.