Consider Going Beyond the Minimum

Claudette Reichel  |  6/24/2008 2:35:12 AM

Code-Plus Programs: It’s a good investment to go beyond minimum code requirements – for additional damage resistance, peace of mind, market value and to qualify for current or future incentives such as property insurance discounts. Two “code-plus” programs are widely recognized and included in the Louisiana building code legislation as alternatives for code compliance.

  • Fortified…for safer living is a home certification program of the Institute for Business and Home Safety, a research and educational organization of property insurance companies. A Fortified…for safer living designation means that a qualified inspector has confirmed that the house is designed and built to withstand the perils commonly experienced in the area. Some insurance companies offer premium discounts on wind coverage for certified Fortified homes.

Its guidelines provide a more standardized set of requirements that offer greater safety, damage resistance and simplicity than minimum code requirements. They also include best practices to reduce water damage that are not addressed in the codes. For more information and videos on property protection techniques, and to download the Fortified building guidelines, visit www.ibhs.org.  

  • Blueprint for Safety is an educational program of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), a nonprofit, charitable education organization dedicated to promoting home safety. The program offers guidelines and builder training designed to provide current and reliable information about disaster-safety building techniques and features for floods, hurricanes, wildfires and windstorms.

Its guidelines are also more standardized than code and apply to houses that fit within a given set of design criteria. They are based upon a design wind speed of 140 mph. For more information and the building guidelines, visit www.blueprintforsafety.org. For information on ways to protect existing homes and to see animated “how-to” clips, visit www.flash.org

For a more thorough description of how wind affects buildings, visit the Web sites of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center (www.wind.ttu.edu) and FEMA’s hurricane link at www.fema.gov.  

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