May 24, 2018

Rankings: CT building codes New England's best

Connecticut's residential building code program recently earned high scores among the top hurricane-prone coastal states, according to rankings by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).

The state again scored fifth out of the 18 states evaluated by IBHS, a Florida nonprofit supported by the property insurance industry.

Scoring ahead of Connecticut were Florida, Virginia, South Carolina and New Jersey. The rankings, conducted every three years, recorded the same top states in 2015.

Ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1, IBHS evaluated 47 data points to measure the effectiveness of each states' residential building code programs. States were evaluated on code adoption and enforcement, and requirements for training building officials licensing contractors.

Connecticut scored 89 out of 100 points, up from a score of 88 in 2015, according to the rankings. The score of other New England states were Rhode Island (87), Massachusetts (81), Maine (54) and New Hampshire (46), it said. IBHS first ranked state building codes in 2012.

The higher score is due to Connecticut's enforcement of the International Residential Code, which sets minimum regulations for single- and multi-family dwellings using several safety provisions, including wind resistant regulations. Meanwhile, the state's Division of Construction Services has also developed initiatives to "improve resilience" of residential homes in the state, especially dwellings in high-risk coastal areas, the report said.

Most states that scored high marks in 2015 remained committed to building safety in the latest findings, IBHS said.

The U.S. endured a "disastrous" year of storms in 2017, as hurricanes impacted 25 million people, according to Debra Ballen, IBHS's general counsel and senior vice president of public policy.

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