Agency proposes flood damage standard for building materials

ASTM International, one of the world’s largest international standards development agencies, has proposed a new standard that will provide a comprehensive way to evaluate building materials used in basements and other below-base flood elevation construction.

The proposed new standard will establish methods for determining flood damage resistance ratings (either acceptable or unacceptable) of materials and assemblies for use below the lowest floor of new and substantially damaged structures, in accordance with the National Flood Insurance Program's requirements for being flood damage-resistant.

The proposed new standards may be used as evaluation criteria for manufacturers to evaluate their products and for local building officials to use when enforcing requirements for materials in below-BFE construction.

"The end goal is to have materials certified as flood damage-resistant, to facilitate consistent use of building code provisions for materials used in below-BFE construction," said Julia Moline, a project engineer with Dewberry and a member of ASTM International Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings.

"Designers and developers who specify flood damage-resistant materials in building design and construction, building officials enforcing building code provisions and homeowners seeking certified flood damage-resistant materials will all benefit from the proposed standard, once it has been approved," Moline said. The ASTM committee on this standard next meets in April 2012.

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