The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved legislation, The Promoting Resilient Buildings Act (H.R. 5473), that would help jurisdictions preserve local control over the building code adoption process while also encouraging communities to take steps to withstand and recover from extreme events.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, in 2018, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act’s pre-disaster hazard mitigation program defined “latest published editions” of building codes to include the latest two published editions of relevant codes, specifications and standards. This definition sunset in October 2023, but H.R. 5473 would remove the sunset, permanently codifying the current definition of “latest published editions” for the pre-disaster hazard mitigation program.
Without a definition of “latest published editions” for this program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will only consider whether a jurisdiction has adopted the very latest editions of building codes. This will put jurisdictions in a difficult position, pressuring the adoption of the very latest building codes without a thorough vetting and amendment process, resulting in costly code changes that do not contribute to meaningful safety and resiliency improvements.