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Understanding Substantial Damage in the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, or International Residential Code

This document will help you understand the concept of Substantial Damage (SD) and how to determine if a building meets this criterion. FEMA's Public Assistance Required Minimum Standards Policy found in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide, Chapter 2 – Section VII.B.2, requires that projects receiving FEMA assistance for repair or replacement incorporate the natural hazards-related provisions of the most recent edition of the International Code Council's® (ICC®) International Building Code (IBC®), International Existing Building Code® (IEBC®), and/or International Residential Code® (IRC®), known collectively as the I-Codes. The Policy applies to buildings that have received designations of Substantial Structural Damage, Substantial Damage, or are eligible for replacement in accordance with 44 CFR Part 206.226(f).

Last updated September 30, 2021