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Seismic Codes Help Prevent Serious Damage in Hawaiian Quake, ICC says
Hawaii’s recent earthquake demonstrates importance of building codes in keeping people safe in a disaster, says International Code Council.
"The good news is that no one was killed in Sunday's earthquake," says Rick Weiland International Code Council (ICC) CEO. "A 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Iran just a few years ago claimed 30,000 lives. The difference is strong building codes.”
“Those two earthquakes demonstrate that when disaster strikes, building to and enforcing codes prevents tragedies. Architects, engineers, builders, tradesmen, code enforcement officials and others in the building safety and fire prevention industry work together to ensure your safety,” says Weiland
Each of the four counties in Hawaii is in the process of updating to current versions of the International Building Code. They are actively reviewing and writing their adopting ordinances and local amendments and working with the Hawaii Association of County Building Officials to coordinate their codes to be consistent with all of the counties. The entire family of I-Codes is regularly updated to incorporate the newest building materials and products, as well as lessons learned from past disasters, including earthquakes.
"While building to newer codes may result in slight increases in construction costs, studies show that every dollar spent on building safer and stronger prevents four to seven dollars in future losses," says Weiland.
Representatives from the International Code Council Congressional Relations staff visited the offices of Hawaii's Congressional delegation to offer International Code Council experts as resources for questions and concerns regarding seismic building issues.
Seismic building codes reflect the latest knowledge about earthquake dynamics and building behavior. They are intended to protect people inside buildings by preventing collapse and allowing for safe evacuation. Structures built to the most modern codes should resist minor earthquakes without suffering damage and ride out severe earthquakes without collapsing.