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City strengthens building code grading

PASCAGOULA — The City of Pascagoula recently lowered its building code effectiveness grading (BCEGS) from a 6/6 to a 4/4. Communities are graded on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being complete compliance.

The lower rating is an improvement and results in lower insured losses and improved insurance rates for commercial and residential properties, the city said. This rating will result in a 20 percent savings over those communities that are not rated or those communities rated a class 10.

Municipalities are graded every five years on how well they are enforcing the adopted codes, what edition of the International Building Codes they are enforcing, the experience of the inspectors, the operating budget, the number of inspections per inspector, the building plan review, floodplain management, hazard mitigation, emergency plans and comprehensive plans.

The BCEGS is an insurance underwriting tool that is issued by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau. It is an insurance company supported organization with the primary mission of providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurance companies. BCEGS applies only to buildings receiving a certificate of occupancy in the year a community is graded or later. Existing buildings are not subject to the program.

Existing properties can receive the best grade, 1, and be eligible for associated credits if a registered architect or engineer certifies that the individual structure was designed and built according to a nationally recognized code.

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