Building Codes: Rating the States
IBHS has released the second edition of the Institute’s Rating the States report. The study assesses the progress of 18 hurricane-prone coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast in strengthening their residential building code systems since IBHS’ original 2012 report.
The second edition of IBHS’ Rating the States report finds most states with strong building code systems in place at the time of the original 2012 report remain committed to building safety; they updated their codes to the latest model code editions, or are in the process of doing so, and maintained effective enforcement systems. Unfortunately, a number of states took no action to improve their code systems, and a few have weaker systems in place now than in 2012.
Below are the 2015 state scores, based on a 100-point scale, where 100 is the best available score:
IBHS evaluated 47 key data points to assess the effectiveness of the states’ residential building code programs, including code adoption and enforcement; building official training and certification; and licensing requirements for construction trades who implement building code provisions.
One of the most important aspects of IBHS’ Rating the States Report is that it goes beyond evaluating each state’s code system to offer a clear roadmap with specific details for states to follow as they seek to update and improve their code systems.
In the case of high-wind events, such as hurricanes, research shows that modern building codes can make a difference in reducing the amount of storm-related damage. In fact, a study done by IBHS, the University of Florida and the FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team following Hurricane Charley, which struck Florida in 2004, found that modern building codes reduced the severity (cost) of insurance losses by 42 percent and the frequency (number) of insured losses by 60 percent.
For additional information about building codes, visit IBHS’ Building Code web page.
© 2012 Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety