The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a new government-wide effort to boost national resiliency and reduce energy costs.
Under the National Initiative to Advance Building Codes, federal departments and agencies will review federal funding and financing of building construction to ensure projects follow updated model codes. The initiative will also provide incentives and support for communities to adopt modern building codes.
Members of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group will review their infrastructure grantmaking processes to ensure that they align with and support the adoption and use of current editions of the International Residential Code (IRC) and International Building Code (IBC). FEMA chairs the leadership group, consisting of another 13 federal agencies.
“By modernizing building codes, communities will not only save money through lower energy costs and protecting their property, but together, we will also save lives by ensuring our infrastructure remains resilient in the face of climate change and associated extreme weather events,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.
FEMA views the adoption of current building codes as the most effective means to enable communities to become more resilient to hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other natural hazards that are increasing in frequency and severity due to the changing climate. Yet, FEMA has been until now the only federal agency that requires the construction it funds to adhere to current, hazard-resistant codes.