"Not only did we get a disparity of responses from the jurisdictions, we honestly don't really know what they checked," Gould says. "We only know that they found—in one case one response. We have no way of really knowing what they actually looked at."

In Phase Two of the project, which has begun and is expected to run for about two years, the group hopes to refine further the A&E rule set, to develop guidelines for model creation that will support auto code-compliance checking, and to expand into code rule sets for fire and life safety and healthcare.

The health care conglomerate Kaiser Permanente has signed on as a participating partner in the project for that sector, joining the Target Corp., which will continue as a testbed for the retail vertical. The committee is looking for more industry partners, as well as funding support.

"It is aggressive; there is no doubt about it," says Gould of the project's ambitions. "There are a lot of oceans to boil, but that's the point: we can't do that effort for every aspect of every code, so part of the research is to work with the vertical industries and net down to what can, in fact, be put into a rules set."