A building code is the minimum standard to which a property can be built. Jurisdictions typically adopt newer model building codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC)every three to six years. Modern building codes have recently begun to address property protection — however, code enforcement is usually underfunded in most municipal budgets, and enforcement is inconsistent across jurisdictions. 

FORTIFIED adds additional protection to protect property better and ensures compliance with FORTIFIED building standards using a third-party evaluator. The goal is to reduce the risk of loss and have the building survive a severe event, and be reusable quickly by protecting the interior of the building and its contents. 

The houses above all went through Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The more recent the building code, the better the house faired.

We created a Code Supplement to bridge the gap between existing "I Codes®" and the IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ technical standards. The Supplement is written in an ordinance format to be added to and adopted with local building codes easily.

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Our Supplement provides communities with a straightforward, proven approach to increase their community’s resilience to storms, reduce future damage, and help leverage incentives and funding for using beyond-code construction methods.

The Supplement is a free public resource maintained by Smart Home America, Inc. and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS).

There are two versions – one for coastal communities at risk from Hurricanes and one for inland communities focused on high wind, hails, and tornadoes. Both are beyond-code additions to locally or state-adopted and enforced ICC International Residential Code (IRC).

Download the Coastal Construction Code Supplement.

Download the Construction Code Supplement.

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