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Building Code Adoption Tracking Glossary

Building Code Adoption Tracking, also referred to as Building Code Adoption Tracking System (BCATS)

Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule, a program administered by ISO which evaluates building departments in jurisdictions across the country pertaining to their building code adoption and enforcement and grades them on a scale of 1 to 10. 

A jurisdiction is damaging wind resistant if it has high damaging wind risk and the 2015 or later IBC and IRC apply within the jurisdiction without weakening of any of the wind provisions.

A jurisdiction has high damaging wind risk if it is located outside of the hurricane prone region and is within a county which has Vasd of 85 mph or greater wind speeds (Vult of 110 mph or greater) for Risk Category II buildings for a 3 second gust measured at 33 feet in Exposure C as shown in the 2015 IBC wind speed map of Figure 1609.3(1).

Emergency Management Assistance Compact, an interstate mutual aid agreement which all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have passed. The Compact contains 13 articles establishing a mutual aid system with, among other elements, provisions for jurisdictions to share their resources with one another during emergencies, give and receive reimbursement for shared resources, and give and receive liability protection for their officers and employees rendering aid in another jurisdiction.

A jurisdiction is flood resistant if it has high flood risk, it participates in the National Flood Insurance Program in good standing, and the 2015 or later IBC and IRC apply in the jurisdiction without weakening of any of the flood provisions.

A jurisdiction has high flood risk if it indicates the presence of flood risks on its BCEGS survey, or if it has an NFIP CID number, is mapped for flood risk, and is not designated as No Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA).

A jurisdiction has hazard risk, or one-or-more hazards risk, or disaster risk, if it has high flood, hurricane, tornado, damaging wind, or seismic risk.

A jurisdiction is hazard resistant if it has one-or-more hazards risk and the 2015 or later IBC and IRC apply within the jurisdiction without the weakening of any provisions related to any of the hazards for which the jurisdiction has high risk, and the jurisdiction participates in the NFIP in good standing if it has high flood risk.

This refers to the 2015 or later IBC and IRC, without any amendments that weaken hazard-resistant provisions related to any hazards which for which the jurisdiction has high risk.

Defined in the 2015 and later IBC as:

  • The U.S. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coasts where the ultimate design wind speed, Vult, for Risk Category II buildings is greater than 115 mph (51.4m/s);
  • Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

A jurisdiction is hurricane wind resistant if it has high hurricane wind risk and the 2015 or later IBC and IRC apply within the jurisdiction without weakening of any of the hurricane wind provisions.

A jurisdiction has high hurricane wind risk if it is within the hurricane prone region as defined in the 2015 and later IBC:

  • The U.S. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico coasts where the ultimate design wind speed, Vult, for Risk Category II buildings is greater than 115 mph (51.4m/s);
  • Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.

A jurisdiction also has high hurricane risk if it is located within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), due to its typhoon history and its proximity to Guam.

The family of International Codes published by ICC which includes the IBC and IRC, and several other model codes such as the IEBC, the International Energy Conservation Code, the International Mechanical Code, the International Plumbing Code, the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code, and more.

International Building Code, a model building code published by ICC and updated with a new edition every three years.

International Code Council

International Existing Building Code, a model building code for existing buildings, published by ICC and updated with a new edition every three years

Intrastate Mutual Aid Compact, an arrangement among jurisdictions within a state or territory which establishes a system for the sharing of emergency response resources after a disaster. IMAC is similar to EMAC, except that IMAC is focused on mutual aid within a state or territory, and EMAC is focused on mutual aid between states and territories.

International Residential Code, a model residential construction code published by ICC and updated with a new edition every three years

Insurance Services Office, a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics and the publisher and administrator of BCEGS.

The common name for the area, with defined political boundaries, which is served by the building department. Jurisdictions are usually incorporated locations, recognized by the U.S. Census Bureau. Jurisdictions include, but are not limited to, cities, towns, townships, boroughs, villages, counties, and parishes.

National Flood Insurance Program. Any jurisdiction which has high flood risk and does not participate in the NFIP will not be considered a resistant jurisdiction.

No Special Flood Hazard Area, an area that has been determined to lack any special flood hazard area, and is not considered to have high flood risk in the BCAT data.

A statewide or territory-wide IMAC system where the political subdivisions of a state or territory are not members of the system until they take action to join the system.

A statewide or territory-wide IMAC system where the political subdivisions of a state or territory are automatically members of the system unless they take action to exit the system

A unit of government created by and under the authority of a higher level of government. If a state divides itself up into counties, the counties are political subdivisions of the state. If those counties divide themselves up into county subdivisions, the county subdivisions are political subdivisions of the counties, which are in turn political subdivisions of the state.

In BCAT usage, “political subdivision” typically to refers to any type of jurisdiction within a state or territory, but not including the state or territory itself.

A tracked jurisdiction where:

  1. The 2015 or later IBC and IRC are adopted, and the codes are not weakened for high-risk hazards in the jurisdiction.
  2. If the jurisdiction has high flood risk, it must also participate in the NFIP in good standing.

A jurisdiction is seismic resistant if it has high seismic risk and has the 2015 or later IBC without weakening of any of the seismic provisions, or the jurisdiction has residential high seismic risk and has the 2015 or later IRC without weakening of any of the seismic provisions.

A jurisdiction has high seismic risk if either of the following apply: 

  • High Seismic Risk – the jurisdiction is located in a county where the county or any portion thereof has a short-period response acceleration greater than or equal to 0.50g for site class B according to Figure 1613.2.1(1) in the 2015 IBC, or
  • Residential High Seismic Risk – the jurisdiction is located in a county where the county or any portion thereof falls within Seismic Design Categories D0, D1, D2, or E for site class D according to 2015 IRC Figure R301.2(2).

A jurisdiction is tornado resistant if it has high tornado risk and the 2015 or later IBC applies within the jurisdiction with IBC Section 423 not weakened by amendment.

A jurisdiction has high tornado risk if it is located in any county within the 250mph wind speed zone shown in Figure 304.2(1) in ICC 500-2014.

Any jurisdiction tracked within BCAT that participates in BCEGS or is evaluated for BCAT through FEMA research.

Last updated May 5, 2021