Post-Katrina roofing codes creating more resilient buildings on Gulf Coast

Ten years after storm, notable progress on stronger roofs, IBHS says

August 21, 2015 |
Post-Katrina roofing codes creating more resilient buildings on Gulf Coast

Photo: New Orleans in 2005/Wikimedia Commons

New research by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) indicates that stronger building standards and codes have contributed to stronger roofs in the Gulf Coast region.

In the 10 years after Katrina, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, have also added tougher requirements for inspections, building permits, and contractor licensing. Combined with beefed up codes, this is good news for the resiliency of buildings in the region, IBHS says. 

IBHS researchers examined changes specific to roofing requirements by evaluating and analyzing key aspects of roofing regulations, including codes, contractor licensing, permits, and inspections. Building codes have substantially improved, with 100% of surveyed jurisdictions currently enforcing either the 2012 or 2009 edition of the International Residential Code (IRC). Prior to Katrina, only about one-third (36%) of coastal communities surveyed were known to enforce the IRC.

In addition to enactment and enforcement of the latest building codes, IBHS recommendations for hurricane-exposed communities include adoption of IBHS FORTIFIED HomeTM–Hurricane superior roofing construction standards. These standards provide increased resilience through stronger construction techniques, and were specifically developed for these locations.

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