FEMA Releases Comprehensive Building Code Strategy

Source: Molly Rettig, NREL 67681

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a comprehensive Building Code Strategy that highlights the importance of building resilience amidst more frequent and severe climate events. The Strategy sets forth three main goals: integrating building codes and standards across FEMA; increasing nationwide capability for superior building performance; and driving public action on building codes. These goals will be accomplished by coordinating program and policy efforts across FEMA’s offices, making data-driven decisions, striving for advanced building code adoption, focusing on vulnerable communities, strengthening messaging around the importance of codes development, and maintaining building code expertise at FEMA, among other activities.

In its implementation, FEMA’s Building Code Strategy may provide a framework for project development at the state and local levels. FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities (BRIC) competitive federal grant program offered nearly $1 billion in the 2021 fiscal year, in addition to state, territory, and tribal allocations, and the BRIC program may be used to update and implement more resilient building energy codes. BRIC competitive grant applicants (which include states, territories, localities, and tribes) may integrate elements from FEMA’s Building Code Strategy to strengthen funding applications to support updated code adoption, development, and enforcement. Click here for the full text of FEMA’s Building Codes Strategy.