ICC Develops New Standard for Building in Hurricane, High Wind Areas

The International Code Council has released new construction guidelines it says will increase public safety in hurricane prone areas and other high-wind regions. The Standard for Residential Construction in High Wind Regions (ICC-600) provides wind-resistant design and construction details for residential buildings and applies to areas where wind speeds reach 100 mph to 150 mph, including the hurricane-prone regions of the east and gulf coasts, coastal Alaska, and the specialwind region of the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon.

“Communities that adopt this new standard will have a tool based on sound science to help them save lives and protect property,” said ICC CEO Rick Weiland. “It’s necessary if we are to reduce the billions of dollars in wind-related damage this country faces year after year.”

ICC-600, approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard, uses the latest engineering knowledge to improve the structural integrity and performance of homes. The standard is an update to SSTD 10-99 and includes new provisions such as prescriptive designs for wind speeds up to 150 mph with three-second gusts, designs for cold-formed steel framing and exterior wall coverings for high wind.

“The High Wind Standard will help First Preventers protect the communities they serve,” Weiland said. “First Preventers, those many unheralded and mostly unknown code officials who check and double-check code compliance and administer building safety codes, play a major role in saving lives, protecting property and reducing recovery costs often paid for by taxpayer dollars.”

The new standard, available this month for communities to adopt, will be considered as a referenced standard in the 2009 International Residential Code. For more information, visit www.iccsafe.org.

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