The last time the Florida building code changed, it required any new construction along the coast to elevate buildings a whole foot. Now, a new study suggests that may not be enough and calls for yet another foot.

The rising base elevations of homes are a clear sign that — despite waffling political rhetoric from the federal and state level — the people who plan and build in coastal Florida consider the threat of sea rise very real.“If we’re going to build a resilient Florida, the hurricanes aren’t going away.

Climate change isn’t going to stop,” said Craig Fugate, Florida’s former director of emergency management and FEMA head under Barack Obama. “We cannot keep building the way we always have and expect a different outcome in future disasters.”Florida’s long and winding coastline is packed with people, with more arriving by the day. That makes the state more vulnerable to sea level rise and increasingly powerful hurricanes than any other.

But as of 2019, Florida’s massive, nationally renowned statewide building code still doesn’t have much to say about how to build with climate change in mind. That could change this year, as a new Florida International University study commissioned by the Florida Building Commission makes its way through the building code bureaucracy. It’s too late to add anything to the 2020 code update, but a subcommittee accepted the findings unanimously this summer.

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