Innovations in Building Safety that Reduce Risk

Topics: Loss Control

As Building Safety Month enters its fifth and final week, the focus is on innovations in building safety that can help reduce property damage, accidents and injuries. Over the past 10 years, there have been significant changes in the way buildings are constructed, aimed at providing safer, stronger and more durable buildings that can stand up to a variety of hazards. For instance, natural disasters, pests, moisture and more can all threaten the resilience of a structure.

These improved construction methods and building safety codes also play a role in improving energy efficiency, decreasing construction costs and lessening the need for future maintenance and repair.


Innovative Building Technology for the Safe Structures of the Future

There’s no doubt the building safety industry is becoming more innovative with each passing year. According to the International Code Council (ICC), advances in green construction, product evaluation, accreditation to support code compliance, building department codification and benchmark resiliency are all key in making today’s buildings safer for occupants and the community.

New building safety codes and standards will continue to put safety and efficiency first in the years ahead, utilizing technology and science to continue to advance the industry. Let’s take a closer look at each of these advances to understand how they can all help reduce risk in commercial properties.

Green building technology

Green construction isn’t just about energy efficiency. The World Green Building Council reports that green buildings provide a variety of benefits, including:
  • Environmental: Green buildings reduce or even eliminate some of the negative impacts on the environment because they use less water, energy or resources. Plus, they can often generate their own energy.
  • Economic: Building green provides a cost savings on energy bills for both building owners and their occupants, plus lower construction rates and higher property value.
  • Social: When people work in green buildings, they often see a boost in their overall health and wellness.
The 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) offers the construction industry the proper codes and standards designed to ensure energy efficiency, water safety, indoor environmental quality and more. Green building strategies not only provide the benefits mentioned above, but they can also help reduce risk delivering resilience to natural disasters and climate change, resource consumption and service interruptions due to unforeseen circumstances.

Code compliant building products

Code compliant building products are the core of safe structures. This is why technical evaluations of building product listings, plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas listings should be conducted by professionals to ensure all materials comply with current codes and standards. The ICC Evaluation Service (ICC-ES) offers free reports on product code compliance to those in the building industry, including code officials, architects, engineers, contractors and more. These reports can make it easier for those charged with enforcing code to determine the compliance of the product.

Accreditation to support code compliance

Another way the building industry will continue to advance is through verifying that the businesses or government agencies facilitating building codes and standards are complying with industry and/or international standards. There’s a worldwide demand for safe and reliable building products and services, making this accreditation a necessity. Plus, many organizations responsible for public health and safety make it their goal to demonstrate their competence and compliance, such as hospitals, schools, police departments, etc. The International Accreditation Service (IAS) accredits a wide range of organizations to ensure they are adhering to the codes and standards that keep people and the community safe.

Building department codification

Local governments keep their building laws organized and updated to ensure they’re reliable through a process called codification. Another member of the ICC family, General Code, understands the changes the building industry has undergone in the last several years, and they have utilized technology to revolutionize the codification process to improve how code information is organized and presented to the public. They continually update and digitize local codes for over 3,000 local governments and provide the information in one single, consistent resource.

Resilience benchmarking

The safety, sustainability and resilience of buildings within a community have a direct effect on the community’s overall resilience, especially in the face of certain hazards. The Alliance for National and Community Resilience (ANCR), founded by the ICC, makes it their goal to help communities positively adapt to change, providing the information they need to understand and benchmark their current resiliency levels. They can also offer options that can help improve resiliency and help them understand the benefits of being prepared for any type of hazard event.

Loss Control Services from AmTrust Financial

AmTrust’s Loss Control Department can help your small business assess the conditions, practices and processes of the workplace to help identify hazards, recommending strategies to help reduce, control or eliminate accidents and losses. We are dedicated to providing the right resources to create the most effective loss control program for your specific needs. For more information, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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