Building Code Effectiveness Classifications
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Not all communities have equally stringent building codes, nor do all communities enforce their codes with equal vigor. Yet the effectiveness of local building codes can help you predict how well a structure will fare in a hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disaster.
FEMA News Photo
After Hurricane Katrina, photos taken in Louisiana showed completely destroyed homes in the same area as homes with only moderate damage. Homes with superior construction experienced far less damage.
ISO's Building Code Effectiveness Classifications help you distinguish between communities with effective building code enforcement and those with weak enforcement.
The concept is simple: municipalities with effective, well-enforced codes demonstrate better loss experience when catastrophe strikes. Buildings located in such communities — constructed according to current codes — likewise experience less severe loss.
ISO collects information on the building codes in effect in a particular community, as well as how the community enforces its building codes. We then analyze the data using our Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) and assign a grade from 1 to 10. Grade 1 represents exemplary commitment to building-code enforcement; Grade 10 indicates no recognizable enforcement. Insurers can use the gradings to grant premium credits for buildings constructed under strictly enforced codes.
ISO gives you BCEGS classifications in the Community Mitigation Classification (CMC) Manual Plus, an electronic manual delivered through ISOnet®.
Building-code information is also available online or on monthly CDs through LOCATION®. You get BCEGS classifications for all street addresses in 48 states, as a flat-file database in convenient tab-delimited format.
The BCEGS program will encourage the implementation and enforcement of effective building codes, resulting in safer buildings, less damage, and lower insurer costs from catastrophes.
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