IBHS Updates its Rating the States Building Code Report

Rating-States-Report-Banner-2With the 21st anniversary of Hurricane Andrew August 24, and Hurricane Katrina August 29th, two of the most deadly and destructive hurricanes ever to make landfall in the U.S., IBHS has updated its Rating the States Report, which reviews the progress the 18 most hurricane-prone coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Seaboard have made in strengthening their residential building codes.

Rating the States Midterm Update looks at building code activity in the same coastal states featured in IBHS’ original report released in January 2012, assessing them according to whether they have taken positive action, negative action, or no action to improve their codes during the ensuing 18 months.

rating-the-states-midterm-map-2013Fully half (nine) of the states have acted to improve their codes, seven have taken no action, and two have acted to weaken their code systems. The update found that most of the states with strong building code systems in place at that time of the original report remain committed to building safety; they have updated their codes to the most recent model codes, and in some instances, passed legislation to further strengthen code protections. By contrast, most of the states with very low scores in the original report have taken no action to improve their codes, thus falling even further behind best practices.

Although the update does not re-score each state, it discusses actions taken to provide more current insights into the strengths and weaknesses of each state system. IBHS plans to issue a new report in 2015, which will revise the rating for each state based on actions taken since the original report.

The assessment of states in the update is based on their actions since the original 2012 Rating the States Report and is as follows (with original numeric ranking from 0-100):

Positive action:

Florida (95); Virginia (95); South Carolina (84); Connecticut (81); Rhode Island (78); Maryland (73); Georgia (66); New York (60); and Alabama (18).

No Action:

New Jersey (93); Massachusetts (87); Maine (64); New Hampshire (49); Texas (18); Delaware (17); and Mississippi (4).

Negative Action:

North Carolina (81) and Louisiana (73).

The original Rating the States Report was a first of its kind, state-by-state assessment of individual state performance in developing and carrying out a residential building code system, which uses modern building codes, coupled with strong enforcement-related activities to enhance the protection of homes and families.

View both reports and additional background information on the Rating the States webpage. For more information about building codes, visit IBHS’ Building Code web page.

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