A new National Institute of Building Sciences study on hazard mitigation found that updated building codes produce significant benefits.
The NIBS report found that adopting the 2018 International Codes (I-Codes) generates a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested and saves lives. The I-Codes are the most widely used and adopted set of building safety codes worldwide.
The national mitigation benefit-cost ratio associated with code adoption is $6 to $1 for floods, $10 to $1 for hurricanes, and $12 to $1 for earthquakes. The quantified benefits are the result of avoided injuries and deaths, reduced post-traumatic stress, lower property damage, fewer business interruptions, and reduced insurance premiums.
Communities that consistently meet the latest editions of the I-Codes have added 30,000 new jobs to the construction-materials industry. The NIBS report also found that adoption of the 2015 International Wildland Urban Interface Code provided a $4 to $1 mitigation benefit against wildfire risk.