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As Atlantic hurricane season commences, a new National Initiative to Advance Building Codes has been announced. By updating building codes to make homes and buildings more resistant to disaster, federal officials hope to reduce property damage, save lives, and lower energy costs. Approved by the National Climate Task Force, the initiative comes as intense storms may be expected for coastal communities.

The program is designed to help buildings withstand damage caused by all natural disasters, including wildfires, tornadoes and floods.

The codes ensure, for example, that roofs can withstand hurricane-force winds, that construction materials are resistant to flood damage and that insulation helps reduce heating and cooling costs, officials said.

It’s a “no-brainer” to make new houses and buildings more energy efficient as a means of reducing climate change impacts, said Wendell Porter, emeritus professor of building professions at the University of Florida. But location is what really matters, he said.

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