July 27, 2019

Eneref Institute examines the benefit-cost ratio of code-compliance enforcement and above-code construction of steel windows.

“A more exhaustive look at building codes for windows—and better enforcement of existing codes—will speed up recovery after a weather event.” 

Enforcing Mandatory Robust Building Codes for Steel Windows

Improvements made to homes and buildings to protect them from hazardous winds pay $5 in savings for every $1 spent, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A 2017 study by the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS) shows that every $1 spent on designing and constructing new buildings to exceed the provisions of the 2015 model building codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC) saves $4 in future disaster costs. A study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) found a 60% reduction in the severity of hurricane-related damage to homes built to stronger building code standards.

Therefore, Eneref Institute calls for stronger enforcement of mandatory codes and “abovecode” construction to ensure windows and doors are properly tested to protect against weather events.

Research by Global Market Insights projects that door and window sales will grow to $260 billion by 2024, of which 60% will stem from the residential home market and 40% from the commercial building sector. Relying on mandatory building codes, the leading US window manufacturers (such as Andersen, Pella, Velux, Marvin, Jeld-Wen and Hope’s) test the integrity and durability of their product lines.

Wind-Damage-square

The investment required to strengthen the building envelope dwarfs in comparison to the money and lives saved by enforcing and expanding building codes.

Code for Climate