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Hurricane Ian aftermath expected to prompt building code reform in Florida

Codes and Standards

Hurricane Ian aftermath expected to prompt building code reform in Florida

Elevated living spaces and the move from wood to concrete block framing are possible solutions. 


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | May 1, 2023
Hurricane Ian aftermath expected to prompt building code reform in Florida
Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

Hurricane Ian struck the Southwest Florida coastline last fall with winds exceeding 150 mph, flooding cities, and devastating structures across the state.

A construction risk management expert writing for Multifamily Dive believes the projected economic damage, as high as $75 billion, will prompt the state to beef up building codes and reform land use rules. Changes may include higher elevations requirements, elevated living spaces, and mandates for concrete block framing.

Single-family and multifamily homes anchored on concrete piers may be designed with open garages to protect elevated living spaces. Building pad elevations are likely to rise.

Nearly 500,000 insurance claims have already been filed in the aftermath of Ian, with estimated losses of $4.5 billion, according to the Florida Office of Regulation. Thousands of residents are still waiting to rebuild destroyed homes.

Improved codes and regulations that yield more resilient structures will help ensure that the state will better withstand the impact of future mega-storms like Ian that are likely to strike the state again. Florida officials appear to be getting that message.

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