Code Council, Coalition Support Safe Building Code Incentive Act
Bill proposes monetary incentive for states to adopt and enforce building safety codes
The International Code Council and more than two dozen other organizations that make up the BuildStrong Coalition are urging Congress to pass the Safe Building Code Incentive Act (H.R. 2069). Under the proposed legislation, states that adopt and enforce recognized model building codes for residential and commercial structures would qualify for an additional four percent of funding available for post-disaster grants. The program would be administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Too often, especially in smaller communities, there simply aren’t sufficient resources for building safety,” Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland said. “The Code Council has long recognized this need and advocated for federal support. Better building through better code enforcement is clearly in the best interests of our country and every community in it.”
The Code Council’s model building codes—already enforced at the state or local level in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.—help protect homes and buildings from hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fire, and other natural disasters. Every dollar spent on building safer and stronger on average reduces losses from high-wind damage, floods, earthquakes and other disasters by $4, according to a study funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A study by the World Watch Institute says that every dollar spent on disaster mitigation and preparedness saves $7 in disaster related economic loss. The Louisiana State University Hurricane Center estimates that stronger building codes would have reduced wind damage from hurricane Katrina by 80 percent, saving $8 billion.
ICC invites its members to get involved. If you are interested in contacting Congress about H.R. 2069, go to www.capwiz.com/iccsafe/home/ and clicking on the “Take Action” button.
In addition to saving lives and reducing property loss, statewide building codes based on recognized standards can protect the environment from waste caused by rebuilding after a disaster, according to the Coalition. Sixteen states currently enforce existing building codes that would already qualify for the additional 4 percent funding. Another 15 states could qualify with minor changes to current laws and regulations.
BuildStrong will conduct a nationwide campaign urging the enactment of the Safe Building Code Incentive Act. The bill would provide powerful incentives to state governments to “Build Strong,” and save American lives and taxpayers’ money, according to the Coalition. The advocacy campaign will educate Congress, state policymakers, the media and homeowners about the critical importance of building codes.
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council. The International Codes also serve as the basis for construction of federal properties around the world, and as a reference for many nations outside the United States.