Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced that, as Connecticut faces more frequent and severe weather events as a result of global warming, he is directing state agencies to develop new building code standards that will better protect residential and commercial structures from damage caused by flooding and high winds.
Malloy issued an executive order on Earth Day, April 22, instructing the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and the Insurance Department (CID) to work with the state building inspector to ensure that the next revision to the state building code contains standards that increase the resiliency of new and renovated homes and buildings.
“The science could not be more clear — global warming is real. Knowing what the science says, we should plan and be prepared as we take steps to mitigate our carbon footprint,” Malloy said.
Malloy said that over the past several years, revisions to the state building code have incorporated higher energy efficiency standards to help reduce demand for electricity, heat, and water.
And, he added, it is now time to strengthen building codes to help protect buildings from damage caused by the high winds and flooding that come with severe weather conditions.
“Experts say that every dollar invested in more resilient construction can save $4 in insurance claims, which is a significant return on investment,” Malloy said. “This is a commonsense step to help plan and prepare for the future.”
The governor said many of these measures are relatively inexpensive when compared to the significant damage to homes and businesses they can prevent or mitigate.
Some examples include:
- Requirement to seal seams in the roof deck to eliminate or reduce the volume of water that can seep in if shingles are blown off in a storm;
- Stronger tie-down of roofs to the building structure and gable end vents; and
- Require impact resistant glass in areas of state subject to high winds.
Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said that with the governor’s actions, Connecticut is taking another important step toward building resilient communities. “These are the type of effective mitigation measures that help to keep insurance coverage available and affordable for homeowners,” Wade said.
Robert Klee, commmissioner for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, added that strengthening the state building code offers an effective way to help protect residents and their property from the impacts of climate change.
“This approach will help make certain that homes and commercial structures people invest in can better withstand the strong winds and flood waters we are likely to face in the future as a result of changes in the climate,” Klee said.