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ISO releases new, updated national state building code report

By Dale Thomure  |  March 20, 2019

Building inspectors on siteIn the wake of recent storms such as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, devastating wildfires in California, and other natural disasters, resilience has become more important than ever. Communities across the United States are calling for better preparation, response, and recovery—for when, not if, the next major disaster strikes.

Status of the nation's building codes

ISO has released the 2019 National Building Code Assessment Report, which details the status of the nation’s building codes, including individual assessments of each participating state. The report provides a detailed state-level examination of building codes and their enforcement. This edition is an update of ISO’s groundbreaking 2015 report.

The National Building Code Assessment Report relies on data collected through ISO’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS®) program, which assesses and grades building code adoption and enforcement at the local community level. The report features articles from major resilience organizations on how building codes are developed, the importance of current codes and strong enforcement, and how the BCEGS program works to support resilience efforts. It gives recent histories of state code adoptions and features data and hazard maps from AIR Worldwide, a nationally recognized weather and climate expert and Verisk business.

First line of defense against disasters

Well-enforced, up-to-date commercial and residential building codes are the first line of defense against disasters. Research shows that communities that adopt and enforce strict codes sustain fewer and less severe financial losses from natural hazards, including fires. States with more favorable average BCEGS scores also experience lower fire frequencies, and communities may benefit from potential savings in reduced insurance premiums.


Dale Thomure is the manager of ISO Community Mitigation. You can contact Dale at Dale.Thmure@verisk.com.