How building standards can reduce insurance premiums

Since 2010 natural disasters have caused billions of dollars of damage across Australia and insurance losses of more than $8.9bn.

The Productivity Commissions report, Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation, released in March of this year, found that buildings built to withstand extreme weather conditions have lower insurance premiums.

Following the report, the Federal Government preached the importance of building structures to withstand natural disasters.

The Federal Government currently driving two significant resilience projects in this area:

Australian Resilience Taskforce (ART)
Building Resilience Rating Tool (BRRT) The ART provides a forum for collaboration to raise awareness with government on the importance of building durable, resilient buildings.

BRRT is a consumer tool under development that is designed to encourage homeowners, homebuyers, homebuilders and property professionals to adopt best-practice building methodology and materials. Part of this, includes the Building Resilience Knowledge Database, an online portal with information building products and materials, and their resilience to extreme weather events.

BRRT will provide comprehensive information of all building materials available in Australia, such as roof tiles and insulation blocks, and list how structurally viable they are to certain risks, such as saltwater inundation or hail damage. Currently, building materials available for use in Australia must meet the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

The government has been developing BRRT for several years, with the tool now undergoing final technical tests. In coming months, the tool will be refined before a version available for public use will be released.

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