Building Codes & Enforcement

Topic 3: Building Codes & Enforcement

Building codes are the cornerstone of a resilient community, but less than 35 percent of communities have adopted the latest, most up-to-date hazard-resistant codes. What barriers do you think exist to community adoption of building codes, and how can BRIC avoid these problems?

FEMA seeks your opinions on:

  • The best tools for applying (and enforcing) hazard-resistant building codes
  • The biggest challenges in building code enforcement, and ways these challenges can be overcome
  • How often new building codes are adopted, and how much delay there is in applying new codes after they are published
(@jaleesa.tate)

Building Codes & Enforcement

Stringent Enforcement and Increased Education

States and local communities are often faced with several challenges in terms of adopting stringent regulations, including building codes. Obstacles can range from opposition from developers and community members to the lack of resources for enforcement. Improved outreach and education is at the forefront of overcoming these challenges. Staff and local government officials must be properly trained and educated to ensure... more »

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Building Codes & Enforcement

Resources to aid communities in building code adoption

The American Flood Coalition supports the development of training materials and guides to help communities gain a better understanding of the importance of updated building codes and how building codes are passed and implemented. Less than 35 percent of communities have adopted the most up-to-date hazard-resistant building codes. Training and resources for building officials and elected local officials is one way to encourage... more »

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(@air)

Building Codes & Enforcement

Improve communication with the insurance industry

In combination, effective building codes and building code enforcement reduce losses following disasters, as studies by IBHS, AIR and others have shown. ISO's Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGs) program rates communities on a scale of 1 to 10, and insurers consider the benefits of improved loss experience when pricing policies in highly rated communities. Increased education and better coordination across... more »

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Building Codes & Enforcement

Need Project Ideas

Supply states with examples of Best Practices illustrating hazard resilient building codes and potential projects in development of building codes and strengthening enforcement.

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(@pewcharitabletrusts)

Building Codes & Enforcement

Make strong building codes a prerequisite for BRIC awards

Not enough communities have adopted the latest, most up-to-date hazard-resistant building codes, and a significant portion of BRIC applications are likely to be for the adoption and enforcement of codes – a category made eligible by changes to the Stafford Act last year. Code adaptation and enforcement is an important tool in reducing the risk posed by natural disasters to communities, and should be a prerequisite in... more »

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Building Codes & Enforcement

Do not use national datasets in scoring criteria

National datasets, such as building codes, should not be used in scoring criteria because they largely do not apply to Alaska. For example, none of the six criteria listed on page 18 of the 2018 PDM Notice of Funding Opportunity are relevant to Alaska Native communities. This means that our communities are unlikely to be competitive for that program's Resilient Infrastructure category, which is important because it is... more »

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(@wremer)

Building Codes & Enforcement

Provide Assistance to Train Additional Code Inspectors

The biggest challenges in building code enforcement is having a trained and qualified staff. FEMA can provide funding/grants for training of staff – potentially with emphasis on hazard-specific subjects such as wind-resistant design and/or construction, seismic design and/or construction, flood resistant design/construction, etc. These programs could be set up and delivered through a train-the-trainer model for the selected... more »

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(@wremer)

Building Codes & Enforcement

Rewards Building Code Adoption, Enforcement, and Beyond-Code Jurisdictions

IBHS believes that the most effective and efficient means to realize the benefits of strong building codes is for states to apply the latest model code on a universal basis, and not to allow for local "opt outs," especially in high-risk areas. We recommend that enactment of a mandatory (i.e., no local opt-outs), modern (i.e., based on one of the most recent model building codes) statewide building code should be the starting... more »

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Building Codes & Enforcement

Avoid and move away from high hazrds areas

FEMA should help president to enforce the strict laws for avoid and moving away from high hazard areas. If the areas are under sea levels, repetitive flood sea shore areas, high risk earthquake areas, we should avoid repetitive investing them. FEMA/Army Corp/Multiagency should focus on resolutions to avoid disasters. We need to setup examples to not to built/move away or minimize invest in these areas as first priority.... more »

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