Storms Get Stronger, Building Codes Get Weaker
Prior to recently passed legislation, Florida had some of the strongest building codes, which experts say helped homes come through Hurricane Irma better than older buildings.
A new report, Rating the States 2018, being released this week by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), shows Florida isn’t alone in easing up on building regulations even in the face of an upswing in hurricanes. IBHS examined building policies in 18 Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and found that despite the increasing severity of natural disasters, many of those states have relaxed their approach to codes – or have yet to impose any whatsoever.
Other states loosening building codes include Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia; Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama have no statewide building codes at all.
“There’s no longer the automatic assumption that [building] codes are good,” Julie Rochman, the head of the institute, said in a Bloomberg interview. “We just have an incredible capacity for amnesia and denial in this country.”