Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study: Losses Avoided as a Result of Adopting Hazard-Resistant Building Codes   [open pdf - 26MB]

From the Executive Summary: "The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been working in partnership with local and state governments for decades to reduce losses from natural disasters by developing risk-based hazard maps. The maps help communities reduce risk by planning developments away from high-risk areas and identify locations to adopt risk mitigation measures. FEMA also develops recommendations for making building codes more hazard resistant, largely through FEMA's Mitigation Assessment Teams (MATs). For more than 30 years, MATs have been working with state and local officials to investigate the performance of buildings and infrastructure after disasters, down to the types of nails that are used to join wood framing members and the spacing of the nails. The investigations have shown that strengthening buildings reduces losses. MAT reports develop recommendations for changes in construction methods based on field investigations and building science research. Priority recommendations are then adapted into building code amendment proposals."

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