As building design and technology have grown more complex, the building codes have responded by developing a complicated network of code regulations. Applying the codes as individual requirements is no longer possible. The codes must be used as an integrated matrix, with requirements and trade-offs carefully balanced, if their purpose is to be maintained. Merchut & Merchut believes that when the philosophy and rationale of the codes are understood, codes can be a flexible and responsive design tool. When the code is used as a whole rather than as individual requirements, it can be the vehicle for providing state-of-the-art design in a safe and responsive manner.