To get a mass thick enough to have thermal isolation rather than insulation the costs skyrocket. Not superior.
I can't argue many buildings can be superior to code, but then money does become an object (as opposed to money being no object) I believe we were talking in a slightly more affordable context, at the very least interior walls, treatments and of course furniture that can be deadly from smoke and fumes.
It is entirely possible to build something that exceeds code but still will not pass because of the letter of the law and the person inspecting it being more concerned with what is written on their checklist instead of your results. I once built a little road race car when I lived in Illinois. It was a 1985 Pontiac T1000 (essentially a Chevette) with a 5 speed. It had the original 1.6L 4 cylinder in it, but ran a custom Isky cam, higher compression, a recurved distributor, a reworked carb and no computer. The carb was from a '79 and with the improved airflow of the cam, header and ported head I had to reduce the size of the jets in it to make it run right. It ended up being a really fun car to drive. It had more power AND got better gas mileage than it did stock. At the time they did emissions testing with a probe in the exhaust pipe and read parts per million for CO and HC. This thing was so clean it fast passed (the test can take up to 7 minutes) and the tech went back to make sure the probe had not fallen out. It would have passed for a brand new car in California by the numbers. But when he looked under the car with a mirror there was no catalytic converter so it failed. I ended up cutting the exhaust and welding in an empty converter case and it passed.