Building Codes: Flood and Seismic Adaptation Measure


Housing along waterfront ©Civic Edge Consulting

POLICY and EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
SHORELINE LOCATION:
Asset Specific




MEASURES COMPATIBILITY:
LIKELY IMPLEMENTING AUTHORITY:
Flood
Seismic
San Francisco Planning Department, BCDC
All
All


DESCRIPTION:
Building codes regulate new construction to help development withstand flooding. Building codes and permit conditions can require new development to accommodate or to avoid future, more-frequent flooding. Buildings can be required to elevate mechanical equipment, flood-proof ground floors, or themselves be raised above the base flood elevation." The design flood elevation specified in building codes can be modified to account for sea level rise.


CONSIDERATIONS:
ADVANTAGES:
DISADVANTAGES:
  • Increased flood protection standards in building codes can increase development costs, which are likely to be passed on to consumers. This could increase rents and place homeownership further out of reach for economically disadvantaged residents.
  • Building code updates do not address neighborhood connectivity and transportation flooding.
  • New building codes may reduce the cost of future floods for building workers or inhabitants.
  • Changes in building codes generally only apply to new construction and significant remodels, which means existing structures would not be protected by building code changes.
  • Building code changes do not ensure public safety during flood events.



CASE STUDIES:
  • To protect public safety and ecosystem services, within areas that a risk assessment determines are vulnerable to future shoreline flooding that threatens public safety, all projects––other than repairs of existing facilities, small projects that do not increase risks to public safety, interim projects and infill projects within existing urbanized areas––should be designed to be resilient to a mid-century sea level rise projection. If it is likely the project will remain in place longer than mid-century, an adaptive management plan should be developed to address the long-term impacts that will arise based on a risk assessment using the best available science-based projection for sea level rise at the end of the century.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CONSIDERATIONS

  • Increased flood protection standards in building codes can increase development costs, which are likely to be passed on to consumers. This could increase rents and place homeownership further out of reach for economically disadvantaged residents.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONSIDERATIONS

  • N/A

UTILITY AND MOBILITY CONSIDERATIONS

  • Building code updates do not address neighborhood connectivity and transportation flooding.

INSTALLATION AND CONSTRUCTABILITY CONSIDERATIONS

  • N/A

OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS

  • N/A


Download the Building Codes Factsheet.

Learn about other types of measures from our Measures Explorer page.



Housing along waterfront ©Civic Edge Consulting

POLICY and EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
SHORELINE LOCATION:
Asset Specific




MEASURES COMPATIBILITY:
LIKELY IMPLEMENTING AUTHORITY:
Flood
Seismic
San Francisco Planning Department, BCDC
All
All


DESCRIPTION:
Building codes regulate new construction to help development withstand flooding. Building codes and permit conditions can require new development to accommodate or to avoid future, more-frequent flooding. Buildings can be required to elevate mechanical equipment, flood-proof ground floors, or themselves be raised above the base flood elevation." The design flood elevation specified in building codes can be modified to account for sea level rise.


CONSIDERATIONS:
ADVANTAGES:
DISADVANTAGES:
  • Increased flood protection standards in building codes can increase development costs, which are likely to be passed on to consumers. This could increase rents and place homeownership further out of reach for economically disadvantaged residents.
  • Building code updates do not address neighborhood connectivity and transportation flooding.
  • New building codes may reduce the cost of future floods for building workers or inhabitants.
  • Changes in building codes generally only apply to new construction and significant remodels, which means existing structures would not be protected by building code changes.
  • Building code changes do not ensure public safety during flood events.



CASE STUDIES:
  • To protect public safety and ecosystem services, within areas that a risk assessment determines are vulnerable to future shoreline flooding that threatens public safety, all projects––other than repairs of existing facilities, small projects that do not increase risks to public safety, interim projects and infill projects within existing urbanized areas––should be designed to be resilient to a mid-century sea level rise projection. If it is likely the project will remain in place longer than mid-century, an adaptive management plan should be developed to address the long-term impacts that will arise based on a risk assessment using the best available science-based projection for sea level rise at the end of the century.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CONSIDERATIONS

  • Increased flood protection standards in building codes can increase development costs, which are likely to be passed on to consumers. This could increase rents and place homeownership further out of reach for economically disadvantaged residents.

HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONSIDERATIONS

  • N/A

UTILITY AND MOBILITY CONSIDERATIONS

  • Building code updates do not address neighborhood connectivity and transportation flooding.

INSTALLATION AND CONSTRUCTABILITY CONSIDERATIONS

  • N/A

OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS

  • N/A


Download the Building Codes Factsheet.

Learn about other types of measures from our Measures Explorer page.