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Where can I find a list of materials compliant with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations for use below the base flood elevation?
FEMA’s NFIP Technical Bulletin (TB) 2, Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA, 2008 and revised in 2010), classifies the flood damage-resistance of materials. Table 2 of TB 2 lists common building materials and classifies whether they are acceptable or unacceptable for use below the base flood elevation (BFE) in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Keep in mind, however, that flood damage-resistance may also be affected by the material’s specific application and the characteristics of the floodwaters. Sound judgment and knowledge of probable contaminants in local floodwaters are needed to select the proper materials.
Materials and products that are not listed in Table 2 may be used if accepted by the local official. For materials not listed in Table 2, manufacturers’ literature (i.e., specifications, materials safety data sheets, test reports) should be evaluated to determine if the product meets flood damage-resistance requirements; however, at this time, there are no specific tests or protocols for a manufacturer to use to test their materials for “flood damage-resistance.” Acceptance should be based on sufficient evidence, provided by the applicant, that the materials proposed to be used below the BFE will resist flood damage without requiring more than cosmetic repair and cleaning after being inundated by floodwater.
Note that community or State requirements that exceed those of the NFIP take precedence over what is specified in TB 2. Design professionals should contact the community to determine whether more restrictive criteria apply to the building or site in question.
References: FEMA. 2008, revised 2010. Flood Damage-Resistant Materials Requirements for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas in Accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program. NFIP Technical Bulletin 2. Washington, DC, August 2008.