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Should cities rethink building codes after serious storms?

It seems like every time you turn on the news lately, another storm is barreling across the country.  From Hurricane Sandy to the deadly tornados striking the Midwest, rebuilding communities will be a top priority for survivors.  But with so much destruction comes the question of whether new constructions should included updated building codes, especially in areas where severe weather is so prevelant.

It's an most Michigan residents and commerical property owners here in Oakland County probably don't think about much considering the rarity of tornados and the non-existent threat of hurricanes.  But it's something city officials in New York have been thinking about in the last few months which could bring increased safety to residential and commerical properties.

According to a recent article, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed major changes to the city's building code which would increase the inclusion of safeguards in the new construction of residential and commercial properties.  As the mayor explained, Hurricane Sandy caught the state offguard, doing extensive damage to buildings that may not have collapsed had they included specific structural elements that can withstand powerful storms.

As we're sure many of our readers can already imagine, this new building code plan could cost builders and property owners a considerable amount of money they may be hesitant to spend.  For new constructions that don't follow the proposed codes, there could be negative legal consequences that could cost even more.  The important thing in the months to come will be for property owners to familiarize themselves with the new building codes so as to prevent such litigation from occuring in the first place.

Source: The New York Times, "Bloomberg Seeks to Redo Building Code in Sandy’s Wake," Mireya Navarro, june 13, 2013

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