Rating the States

Rating the States 2018

IBHS has released a new edition of the Institute’s Rating the States report. In continuity with prior reports published in 2012 and 2015, Rating the States 2018 assesses the progress of 18 hurricane-prone coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast in strengthening their residential building codes.

While many states have affirmed their commitment to strong building codes, in others there is a concerning lack of progress in the adoption and enforcement of updated residential building code systems. Because residential building codes represent a minimum life-safety standard for occupancy, the findings suggest that many homes remain at risk from severe hurricane events.

As much of America continues to recover and rebuild following 2017 – a devastating year of weather disasters for the nation and its territories – IBHS urges careful review of this report. It offers state-specific roadmaps to help each state improve building strength and community resilience. Before the next punishing storms hit communities, state and civic officials should heed last year’s lessons and act now. Hurricane Irma provided stark evidence in 2017, that modern building codes, such as those in Florida, are highly effective in reducing the amount of storm-related damage.

Below are the 2018 state scores, based on a 100-point scale, where 100 is the best available score:

IBHS evaluated 47 key data points to assess the effectiveness of the states’ residential building code programs, including code adoption and enforcement; building official training and certification; and licensing requirements for construction trades who implement building code provisions.

In addition to the rating scale, the report offers specific guidance with suggestions each state could follow as they seek to update and improve their code systems.

For additional information about building codes, visit IBHS’ Building Code web page.

Additional Resources