Strategy 2026 closes gaps in building science to strengthen American homes, businesses
Mary Anne Byrd
Public Relations Manager
Richburg, SC, Feb. 8, 2024 – The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)’s new three-year Strategy 2026: Turning Science into Solutions will expand the organization’s groundbreaking research to close gaps in building science and strengthen the nation’s resilience against the growing threat of severe weather and wildfire, bringing science to life and driving change.
“IBHS’s Strategy 2026 is a launchpad toward a more resilient future,” says Roy Wright, IBHS CEO. “As we continue to break the cycle of destruction, this three-year strategic plan pushes us to go deeper into challenges and take unexplored avenues as we bring our science to life, increasing our real-world impact.”
Using lab and field research, IBHS develops science-based solutions for property owners to prevent avoidable structural damage. Its state-of-the art facility is the only testing site in the world that allows scientists to subject full-scale one- and two-story homes and businesses to high winds, wind-driven rain, hail and wildfire to assess the vulnerability and performance of building materials. These laboratory findings, combined with real-world proof points, are the foundation of IBHS’s voluntary resiliency programs, including FORTIFIED™ and Wildfire Prepared Home™.
Based on decades of research, FORTIFIED is a beyond-code construction and re-roofing method that reduces storm damage by strengthening areas of buildings typically vulnerable to high winds and heavy rain. Wildfire Prepared Home uses the latest research to provide homeowners with a system of mitigation actions to meaningfully reduce their home’s risk of ignition during a wildfire. Over the next three years, IBHS will look to double FORTIFIED Home designations to 120,000 and help catastrophe modelers incorporate Wildfire Prepared Home into their work.
Expanding on its work with asphalt shingles, the new strategy calls for IBHS to develop roofing roadmaps that provide guidance about the performance of roof systems subjected to high wind, hail and wildfire over their lifetime. Other plan commitments will scale wildfire designation programs to the neighborhood level, identify cost-effective retrofits to increase the resistance of manufactured homes to high wind and develop peril-specific guidance across different commercial occupancy types, such as educational buildings, places of worship and strip malls.
Over the next three years, the nonprofit will broaden its flagship Rating the States report to inland and Western states and expand its results to other perils, including severe convective storms and wildfire. Additional priorities include providing local jurisdictions with different tiers of model ordinances and expanding its engagement with the weather broadcast community.
Strategy 2026: Turning Science into Solutions is available at ibhs.org.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more at IBHS.org.