Building Codes & Standards

Strong, uniform, modern building codes provide numerous benefits to residents and businesses alike. Building codes promote the construction of safe and durable structures, safeguarded from incidents such as fires and electrical malfunctions, as well as natural disasters. They also increase the safety and integrity of structures, thereby reducing deaths, injuries and property damage. Statewide building codes – and adequate enforcement of codes – also play a vital role in public safety and loss prevention, which can reduce the need for public disaster aid and increase a community’s resilience. Learn more about the benefits of strong statewide building codes.

IBHS conducted a number of studies following Hurricane Charley in Florida in 2004 that showed a 40 percent reduction in the frequency and a 60 percent reduction in the severity of hurricane-related damage to homes built to stronger building code standards. Read the Hurricane Charley study.

As part of its commitment to community resiliency, IBHS supports efforts to encourage statewide adoption of building codes and standards, strong local enforcement of the codes, and training and licensing of building officials, builders and contractors. Learn more about IBHS’ Public Policy efforts.

Current State Building Codes

Click on a state to see what building codes are currently in effect.

The majority of states have adopted some version of the International Code Council’s (ICC) model building codes.

Rating the States Report

rating-the-states-bannerIBHS created a first of its kind, state-by-state assessment of building code systems for the 18 states most vulnerable to catastrophic hurricanes along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. The original report was published in 2012, and a mid-term update was released in 2013. An update to the original report will be published in spring 2015.  Visit the Rating the States webpage to view the reports and learn more about the findings of these studies

Construction Standards

Construction standards specify the accepted design, installation and maintenance practices for the materials and systems used in construction. Strong construction standards support safe, economic, and quality construction and contribute to improved disaster resiliency.

IBHS conducts scientific research to improve building material performance, systems and construction standards. Recent standards testing includes asphalt shingle performance research and high-wind photovoltaic array testing. Learn more about IBHS’ Research.

IBHS’ staff also serves on various codes and standards committees to contribute to efforts to improve building performance and strengthen model building codes, such as (ASTM), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Additional Resources