Building Resilience from Roof to Foundation: Achieving FORTIFIED Gold Certification

Carol Friedland, Kleinpeter, Shelly

The FORTIFIED Gold designation builds on FORTIFIED Roof and FORTIFIED Silver and is typically used in new construction or major renovation projects. It focuses on strengthening the home by creating a continuous load path to reduce potential building failures caused by strong winds and other weather hazards. To meet the FORTIFIED Gold requirements, the load path must be designed by an engineer licensed to do business in the state.


  • Design pressure: All openings (windows, skylights, glass blocks, glass doors, entry doors and garage doors) must be resistant to wind pressures during severe weather. All windows and doors will have a design pressure rating label that can tell you if it is able to withstand extreme winds.
  • Wall impact resistance: The exterior walls of the building must be built using strong materials and secure attachments to resist wind forces and debris impacts.
  • Continuous load path: FORTIFIED Gold homes must incorporate a continuous load path, including roof-to-wall, wall-to-foundation and story-to-story connections. This ties the whole house to the foundation, making the house resistant to wind uplift. Creating a continuous load path involves using metal connectors to link the different levels of a home together.


Meeting the FORTIFIED standard is a simple process that follows five steps:

  • Choose a FORTIFIED Evaluator through the FORTIFIED website.
  • Choose a contractor or roofer.
  • The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) website lists roofers and contractors who have been certified on their website. However, any contractor or roofer can do the work as long as they follow the FORTIFIED standards and work with an evaluator.
  • Start construction on the property.
  • The FORTIFIED Evaluator will work with your contractor to verify that all aspects of construction meet the FORTIFIED standard and to gather documentation.
  • Once the documentation collected by the FORTIFIED Evaluator is audited by IBHS, and the property passes the audit, a FORTIFIED designation certificate will be issued.

More on FORTIFIED Certification:

Diagram of structure built showing load distributing continuous load path.

Example of structure built with a continuous load path. Illustration by the LSU AgCenter.
1/31/2024 8:52:37 PM
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