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Florida has strongest building codes along hurricane coast: Report


Florida retained its title as the state with the strongest building codes along the hurricane coast and Delaware as the one with the weakest, according to the 2021 edition of the Rating the States report published Tuesday by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

The report ranks 18 coastal states from Texas to Maine on a 100-point scale based on an evaluation of statewide building code adoption, code enforcement and contractor licensing requirements. This is the fourth edition of the report, which is released every three years.

Florida equaled its leading 95-point score from 2018, and Delaware replicated its 17-point bottom-rung score, data from the report showed.

North Carolina improved five points to 88, while Massachusetts slipped three points to 78. New York slid four points to 60, and Alabama improved three points to 30.

Building resilience is the key to reducing the potential financial costs associated with destructive natural disasters, the report said, noting that adopting model codes saves $11 per $1 spent; exceeding codes saves $4 per $1 spent; and mitigating infrastructure saves $4 per $1 spent.

Half of a state’s score is based on statewide adoption and enforcement of building codes. One quarter is based on state-adopted requirements for building official certification, training and continuing education, and one quarter is based on state regulations for on-site implementation and proficiency, as demonstrated by contractor and subcontractor registration, licensing and continuing education.

The states that received fewer than 70 points  — Georgia, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Delaware — have no mandatory statewide codes, but “there are some individual jurisdictions within these states that have strong code adoption and/or enforcement programs,” IBHS said.