The Building Code Coalition (BCC) today applauded the introduction of legislation encouraging the adoption and enforcement of statewide building codes throughout the nation. The proposal was introduced by Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Michael Arcuri, D- N.Y.
“Stronger, safer buildings for Americans and their families during natural disasters can save lives, and ultimately save money, reduce property loss, and reduce public disaster aid,” said Kathy Mitchell, federal affairs director for NAMIC, who leads the BCC. “We commend Reps. Diaz-Balart and Arcuri for their leadership on this important issue.”
The Louisiana State University Hurricane Center estimated that 80 percent of the $10 billion in damage to homes in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Katrina would have been avoided with modern building codes, Mitchell explained. Overwhelming evidence shows that building codes are an effective way for government, insurance companies, and homeowners to save money.
“Unfortunately, state standards for construction, code-related inspection, and enforcement vary widely from state to state,” said Julie Rochman, president/CEO of the Institute for Business and Home Safety. “The best way to provide incentives to states is to increase the amount of post-disaster mitigation aid a state can receive following a natural disaster based upon whether that state has adopted and enforced stronger statewide building codes.”
Under the proposed legislation, 13 states would qualify for the additional monies, while 10 additional states could qualify with minor legislative modifications. Another eight states have adopted statewide codes, but lack enforcement authorization.
“Standardized building codes and adequate enforcement of those codes play an increasingly important role in public safety and loss prevention, even in states that do not have a major natural disaster catastrophe exposure,” Mitchell said.
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Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 9:30:37 AM.
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