Home Innovation Insights

Make the most of your budget by understanding the most common weather-related damage

John Peavey, PE
September 29, 2023

Building Resilient Homes: The Ultimate Guides

As National Preparedness Month comes to a close, it’s time to look ahead to how we will build in the future. Resilience has become a top concern with natural disasters becoming increasingly common and increasingly destructive. Communities looking to rebuild are focused now on creating structures that will last. 

Home Innovation recently collaborated with HUD to develop resilience guides to demonstrate how best to design structures to withstand natural disasters. The goal, as with most things we do here at Home Innovation, was to provide thoughtful, practical, actionable solutions. When looking at resilient construction, there is a long list of possible practices to implement. The breadth of potential damage can make it difficult to know where to start. 

Rather than listing every possible practice, our team worked with a technical advisory group of subject matter experts that included insurance associations, public officials, builders, architects, product manufacturers and other industry stakeholders to identify the most common damages that occur in any significant weather event. This is the first time that builders and insurers were able to review damage reports and collaborate in identifying the practices that will have the greatest effects on resilient building. Once the types of damage were categorized, preventative construction practices and mitigation strategies identified for each based on known above-code building practices. 

While flooding, wall damage, and utility issues are expected in water-related disasters, one of the most common issues reported by insurance companies was issues with roof underlayment and vents that cause leaks and water intrusion. Garage doors were identified as a particular concern for high winds, along with the expected roof damages. 

Governmental disaster funding and construction budgets are always limited, so each practice includes the cost range ($ - $$$$) and a level of difficulty. Using these guides, builders can prioritize the most effective practices that will mitigate the most common damages while still working within their available budget. 

We predict that building codes will increase resilience requirements over the next several years. Draft 1 of the 2024 NGBS (available for comment until October 2, 2023) includes practices from these guides as an opportunity to earn points towards resource efficiency and resilient construction. Homes achieving these practices at certain levels will be eligible for the NGBS Green +RESILIENCE badge in addition to their certification. 

Resilience is a crucial focus in home building today and is only expected to become more important as time goes on. These guides are a major step towards creating longer lasting structures for years to come. 

Back to Top

Filed Under:

Add your Comment

All fields marked with * are required