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#CodeForClimate
Robust Building Codes Will Mitigate Climate Change Catastrophes

Creating, meeting, and exceeding robust building codes reduces property damage from natural disasters.

Improvements made to homes and buildings to protect from hazardous winds pays $5 in savings for every $1 spent, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Further research shows a 60% reduction in the severity of hurricane-related damage to homes built to stronger building code standards. Therefore, it is Eneref’s stance that manufacturers and specifiers of building enclosure components—including windows, doors, walls, roofs, framing, cladding, insulation and foundations—must be compelled to meet and exceed mandatory building codes. 

Strengthening the building envelope will prevent climate change catastrophes.

The growing number of property and casualty (P&C) insurance claims evidences our changing weather. Globally, North America has been the least profitable region for P&C insurance companies due to severe losses from 2017 natural climate catastrophes. Beyond the obvious life-safety benefits for building occupants, for property and casualty insurance companies, mandatory building codes—rigorously enforced—will go a long way to reducing costly policy claims.

125$ Billion

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina

If stronger building codes had been in place, wind damages from Hurricane Katrina would have been reduced by 80%.

Hurricane Katrina $125 billion in property damage.

On July 18, 2019, Eneref Institute presented our “Code for Climate” argument to the media.

“Eneref calls for the creation of more robust building codes and encourages above-code construction.”

Read full text of letter.

What Actions Can We Take to Make a Difference?

What to Do
What to Say

Right now, we need to make unprecedented changes to ensure a sustainable and equitable society.

Eneref Institute advocates for the creation and enforcement of stricter building codes and encourages builders, architects, manufacturers and code officials to meet the minimum mandatory standards and even construct above-code.

You can also call your governing agencies to demand that the building codes for new construction projects in your area are secure and structurally sound against severe weather conditions to protect people and property.

  1. STRENGTHENING BUILDING CODES SAVES LIVES AND MONEY

    A more exhaustive look at building codes for building enclosure components (including windows, doors, walls, roofs, framing, cladding, insulation and foundations)—and better enforcement of existing codes—will speed up recovery after a weather event, prevent disruption to families and businesses, ease pressure on insurance companies and reduce the need for disaster assistance.

  2. CLIMATE CATASTROPHES ARE WORSENING

    The 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate caused more than $250 billion in damage in the United States, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As storms increase in intensity, so will the damage that they inflict.

  3. SOME MANUFACTURERS ARE CUTTING CORNERS

    To sell less expensive construction products, some manufacturers avoid overhead costs associated with testing to guarantee that products perform at code. Damage during weather events is born by the homeowner or building owner, and ultimately the insurer.

  4. STRUCTURAL EFFICIENCY SHOULD NOT BE OVERLOOKED

    Despite the recently increasing number of weather events, many building codes today prioritize energy efficiency, or thermal rating, even at the cost of reduced structural safety. However, structural integrity for storm damage mitigation is just as important as energy efficiency.

  5. BUILDING CODES SHOULD RECOMMEND THE MOST EFFICIENT SYSTEMS

    Energy-efficient technology can significantly reduce global CO2 emissions, according to a 2016 US Department of Energy report. Therefore, for climate change mitigation, the installation of energy-efficient technology, such as inverter driven systems and skylights, should be a mandatory measure in home and building construction.