Resilient Building Design and Stronger Construction Standards
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 includes two standards:
Each employs an incremental approach with three levels of designations available
- FORTIFIED Roof™
- FORTIFIED Silver™
- FORTIFIED Gold™
Design professionals can work with building owners to choose a desired level of protection that best suits their budgets and resilience goals.
- 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?
- Learn which standard (Hurricane or High Wind & Hail) applies to your building location and associated risks.
- Determine the level of resilience you want to achieve (FORTIFIED Roof, FORTIFIED Silver, or FORTIFIED Gold).
- Complete an online application.
- Work with a third-party evaluator provided by IBHS to verify compliance with the standards.
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)
- 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 standards for more information.