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Understanding Substantial Structural Damage in the International Existing Building Code

This document will help you understand how the concept of Substantial Structural Damage (SSD) is used within the International Existing Building Code® (IEBC®). 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 Residential Code® (IRC®), and/or the IEBC. The policy applies to buildings that have sustained any level of damage (including, possibly, SSD or Substantial Damage), as well as projects involving new construction, such as improved projects, alternate projects, or projects eligible for replacement in accordance with 44 CFR, Part 206.226(f). The relevant code provisions include not only the design criteria for repair or replacement construction, but also those provisions that determine whether repair to the pre-damage condition is sufficient, or whether repair must be supplemented by improvement. One of those scope-determining provisions involves the concept of SSD.

Last updated September 30, 2021