Monday, March 05, 2007

Code Talkers

Louisiana will get a grant from FEMA to upgrade its existing building codes.

After Katrina, the state passed tougher building codes to ensure future structures will be more resilient to hurricanes. Local governments must have implemented the new statewide building code by Jan. 1.

"It was very important to us that we support the building code officials and fire marshals as they get their arms around these new codes," said Tim Coulon, LRA board member. "It will take a lot of work, but we believe it is worth the extra effort to keep our families safe."

Local building code enforcement officials will be offered training so they can implement the revised code. Also, resources will be provided to jurisdictions to assist in the establishment of code offices.

In 2005 the state upgraded its building code but not entirely. Prior to Katrina, the state had adopted IBC 2000. After Katrina it upgraded to enforce only the portions of the code that deals with wind resistance. Currently, IBC 2006 has been released. Hopefully the state (and its municipalities) will adopt that code in its entirety.

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