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Demonstrating the Intensive Benefit to the Local Implementation of a Statewide Building Code

Jeffrey Czajkowski, Kevin M. Simmons and James M. Done

Risk Management and Insurance Review, 2017, vol. 20, issue 3, 363-390

Abstract: Ultimately, risk reduction from the implementation of building codes is due to not only the extent of the code as it applies to new construction, but also to the intensity of local adoption and enforcement. It is normally an open question as to how well a code is maintained and enforced at the local level, even for a relatively strong adopted statewide code such as the Florida Building Code. We test the importance of the intensity of building code implementation at the local level for reducing Florida windstorm losses by utilizing Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) rating data. BCEGS ratings provide a joint assessment of local building code effectiveness in terms of the strength of the adopted codes in addition to how well these adopted codes are enforced. We find that both components provide value in reducing windstorm losses in Florida, with the extent of the statewide code being the dominant effect reducing losses on the order of 72 percent. Although not as substantial in terms of its loss reduction magnitude, intensively implementing building codes at the local level by ensuring codes are properly administered and enforced at this scale provides additional loss reduction value on the order of 15–25 percent. Understanding the relative value of these two implementation components is important to better inform building code policy and enforcement efforts given continuously updated codes.

Date: 2017
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