NIBS: 11:1 CBR on Adopting 2018 IBC & IRC Building Codes for Wind, Flood Hazards

The National Institute of Building Sciences found that communities lagging on adoption of the 2018 International Residential Code and 2018 International Building Code risk public safety and economic losses in potential future wind and flood damage.

An ongoing study of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) of natural hazard mitigation looked at the benefits of designing buildings to meet the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) and 2018 International Building Code (IBC) developed by the International Code Council (ICC).

In terms of the benefit-to-cost ratios of hazard-mitigation investments, NIBS found that every $1 invested would result in $11 of benefit in a report released earlier this year.

Adoption of the model building codes, versus 1990s-era codes and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements, makes economic sense, according to NIBS and ICC. The organizations encourage state and local governments to adopt the latest model codes.

Communities that lag the rest of the country in code adoption will ultimately pay in terms of the health, safety and welfare of the public, of businesses, of visitors and of the community’s future vitality,” according to a January joint statement.

"We knew there was a benefit to invest  in mitigation but, prior to the study, we didn’t have a way to quantify it at a national level,” Ryan Colker, director of ICC’s Alliance for National Community and Resilience, told Engineering News Record.

Implementing the mitigation strategies would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million nonfatal injuries and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder in the long term, according to NIBS.

NIBS multi-year study is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), ICC,the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Funded by HUD, NIBS plans to release expects to release benefit cost rations for housing mitigation retrofits this spring.

St. Louis Adds Wind Hazard Mitigation & More with ICC 2018 Code Adoption

Last year, the city of St. Louis, Missouri, became one of the first U.S. municipalities to adopt ICC's 2018 suite of codes, according to

The city's code adoptions included measures like adding ICC's Guidelines for the Wind Retrofit of Existing-Buildings, which prescribes methods for partial structural retrofits of existing buildings to improve resistance to out-of-plane wind loads, into the city's existing building code.

FEMA advises local governments extensively on the proper design and construction of building framing in all locations "where wind, flood, and other loads can be extreme" to ensure proper building framing in chapter 7 of its "Local Guide for Coastal Construction," which can be reviewed and downloaded below.

Request the reports on the NIBS website.

Review and download FEMA's chapter on building framing and wind-load in the Local Guide for Coastal Construction, 2009, developed to assist local building officials in understanding the connection between National Flood Insurance Program guidelines, the IBC and the IRC:

Chapter7 FEMA by Andrea Fox on Scribd

Get the full Local Guide for Coastal Construction on FEMA's website.

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