The FEMA Building Science Branch provides technical services for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA). The branch develops and produces multi-hazard mitigation guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities to reduce loss of life and property. Building Science Branch activities include deploying Mitigation Assessment Teams to conduct post-disaster engineering investigations for both man-made and natural hazard events. Building Science takes a lead role in developing publications, guidance materials, tools, technical bulletins, and recovery advisories that incorporate the most up-to-date building codes, floodproofing requirements, seismic design standards, and wind design requirements for new construction and the repair of existing buildings. In addition to providing technical support for the development and adoption of model building codes and standards, Building Science Branch provides technical support for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for public and private sector stakeholders, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) and is pursuing outreach strategies for communicating building science issues.
What We Do
The Building Science branch develops mitigation guidance that focuses on creating disaster-resilient communities. Mitigation efforts provide value to the American people by creating safer communities and reducing loss of life and property. Our mitigation activities include:
- Technical services bureau for Mitigation and FEMA
- Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) Program
- The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP)
- Developing publications, guidance materials, tools, technical bulletins and recovery advisories that incorporate the most up-to-date building codes, floodproofing requirements, seismic design standards and wind-bracing requirements for new construction or repairing existing buildings.
- Supporting the development and adoption of model building codes and standards
- All hazards mitigation, the Risk Management Series (RMS)
- Providing technical support for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Providing technical support to public and private sector stakeholders.
- Producing state of the art guidance on the construction of community and residential tornado safe rooms to help protect people in their homes, public buildings and schools in hurricane- and tornado-prone areas.
- Pursuing outreach strategies for communicating Building Science issues to a wide array of stakeholders.
Building Science Resources
- Building Code Resources
- Building Science Branch Brochure
- Catalog of FEMA Earthquake Publications
- Catalog of FEMA Building Science Branch Publications and Training Courses
- Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) reports
- Hurricane Sandy - Building Science Activities and Resources
- NFIP Technical Bulletins
- Risk Management Series (RMS): Mitigating Manmade Disasters
- Rebuild Smarter and Stronger: Information and Guidance on Building Safer
- Safe Room Resources
- State Hazard Mitigation Officer (SHMO)
- Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE)
- Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Best Practices
- The FEMA How-To Series: Protect Your Home or Business
Click on the "Frequently Asked Questions" link to view FAQs. If you need additional information email FEMA-Buildingsciencehelp@fema.dhs.gov or contact the Building Science Helpline at (866) 927-2104.