The National Standard for Resilient Construction.

Resilient Building Design and Stronger Construction Standard

In an effort to reduce damage to commercial structures and help businesses re-open more quickly following severe weather, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) developed FORTIFIED Commercial™, a voluntary, superior construction standard and designation program.

FORTIFIED Commercial™ Standard

 

FORTIFIED Commercial includes three incremental levels of resiliency:

  1. FORTIFIED Roof™
  2. FORTIFIED Silver™
  3. FORTIFIED Gold™

Design professionals can work with building owners to choose a desired level of protection that best suits their budgets and resilience goals.

Why FORTIFIED?

  • Reduces risk of financial loss that comes from damaged property, lost inventory, and lost revenue due to business interruption; accomplished by strengthening roof systems, elevating vulnerable mechanical systems, and having backup power.
  • Helps get your business up and running more quickly following severe weather, which helps protect business operations and livelihoods, and helps retain employees and reduce employee stress; studies show that 1 in 4 small businesses do not recover after closing due to a natural disaster.
  • Lowers overall cost of recovery; a 2018 study by the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS) shows that for every $1 spent on FORTIFIED Commercial construction, approximately $4 is saved in disaster recovery expenses.

How Do I Build to FORTIFIED?

  1. Review the standard and understand how they apply to your building location and associated risks. 
  2. Determine the level of resilience you want to achieve (FORTIFIED Roof, FORTIFIED Silver, or FORTIFIED Gold). 
  3. Complete an online application. 
  4. Work with a third-party evaluator provided by IBHS to verify compliance with the standard.

FORTIFIED Commercial focuses on community-based and light to moderate commercial structures such as: 

  • Multi-family residential/residential (when not governed by the IRC) 
  • Template (“cookie-cut”) stand-alone buildings 
  • Franchises (e.g., quick-service restaurants) 
  • Hotels 
  • Convenience stores/gas stations 
  • Pharmacies/retail stores 
  • Business services 
  • Schools/municipal buildings 
  • Mixed use 

Excluded occupancies include high-hazard and appurtenances such as barns and sheds. Please see the FORTIFIED Commercial standard for more information. 

Download a PDF of this overview: