According to results of a new survey, Americans understand that building codes are intended to provide safety and are willing to pay extra to get it. Strength of materials and safety of design are near the top of the list for considerations in the decision to buy or rent a home. Half of Americans are only somewhat confident that their homes are built to resist local hazards. More than 85 percent of Americans would want a new or remodeled home to meet a minimum safety standard.
The survey was conducted on behalf of six non-profit organizations representing the building safety and property insurance sectors. Organizations sponsoring the survey were the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®), International Code Council (ICC), National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and National Institute of Building Sciences.
In addition to the overall findings identified above, the survey found that:
• Only one-third of participants accurately identify building codes as providing minimum levels of safety. One third mistakenly believes the codes represent the highest level of safety, and the final third admit that they do not know.
• Nearly all participants (95 percent) consider it important for contractors or tradespeople engaged in building or remodeling a home to know and follow model building codes, with 83 percent considering it very important.
• More than half of respondents were willing to pay $5,000 or more to achieve minimum safety standards.
National Institute of Building Sciences President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA stated, “As the nation struggles with decreased funding for government related functions, it is important that policymakers and the building community understand how Americans perceive the safety of buildings and their priorities in ensuring a safe and secure built environment.”
For more details on the survey results and to participate in future survey related activities, contact Ryan Colker at the National Institute of Building Sciences (firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 289-‐7800, ext. 133).