The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety released a new report that provides an analysis of residential building codes in the 18 hurricane-prone coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast. Building codes are intended to increase the safety and integrity of structures, thereby reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from hurricanes and a wide range of other hazards.
“Rating the States: An Assessment of Residential Building
Codes and Enforcement Systems for Life Safety and Property Protection in
Hurricane Prone Regions” is the first of its kind, state-by-state assessment of
individual state performance in developing and promulgating a residential
building code system, which uses modern building codes, coupled with strong
enforcement related activities to enhance the protection of homes and families.
“The report goes beyond just evaluating each state’s code
system,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “The report offers each
state the detailed information and tools it needs to improve its building code
process to better protect its citizens. It also gives interested citizens
useful information so that they can understand the need for, and demand, better
The report combines IBHS’ engineering expertise and
regulatory research to examine the three main elements of a state’s building
adoption and enforcement: Statewide mandatory code adoption and enforcement are
the primary elements to require that the minimum standards of codes are
official training and certification: Code official training and certification
are part of the regulatory scheme to ensure that code officials are properly
educated, trained and tested in order to correctly enforce building codes.
requirements for construction trades: Licensing requirements for construction
trades ensure that contractors and subcontractors are familiar with the
sections of code that impact them, that they demonstrate minimum competency in
their trade, and stay current with code requirements.
“IBHS hopes to work with all of the states included in this
report-as well as the other jurisdictions across the country – to improve
building code regulatory systems. Strong, well enforced codes are essential to
effectively strengthening homes, businesses and communities against hurricanes
and many other hazards that threaten the U.S.,” Rochman said.
The full report contains:
about the value of codes;
- the report’s
results in brief;
- an overview
of the building code process;
about the vulnerability of hurricane-prone states;
methodology used to produce the report;
state-by-state analysis (Appendix A);
specific criteria used to evaluate the states (Appendix B); and
- the codes
currently in effect in each state (Appendix C).