Building standards and codes

Technology group

Technology Owners

  • Consultants, engineers, infrastructure specialists
  • Governments and government organisations

Needs Addressed

Hazard-proofed infrastructure

Adaptation Effects

  • Reduces the negative impacts of natural hazards on infrastructure and communities
  • Reduced costs in the event of a disaster: Investments in such disaster mitigation options can result in manifold savings in disaster relief and development setbacks

Overview and Features

Hazard-proofing measures integrated into standards, codes and guidelines used in the construction of infrastructure.


  • The integration of earthquake-resistance principles during the design stage of modern infrastructure is estimated to increase the construction costs by 5-14 % (Rossetto, T. 2007)
  • If an effective mechanism exists for the enforcement of quality control and codes then additional costs for training, skills development, research, etc. could be covered by the construction industry

Energy Source

Human resources

Ease of Maintenance

  • Need to be continuously readjusted to new information about climate hazards
  • Need to be adjusted according to influx of inhabitants – e.g., account for increasing urbanisation in cities

Technology Performance

Implementation of building codes has led to reduced impact of disasters such as cyclones and typhoons on houses in India and the Philippines

Considerations (technology transfer criteria, challenges, etc.)

  • Requires financial resources
  • Correct application of codes, standards and guidelines requires skilled engineers, architects and builders, as well as effective enforcement and inspection procedures
  • Requires complementary skills training, appropriate hazard studies, research into low-cost strengthening solutions in order to devise and implement codes
  • Comprehensive risk assessment must inform the design of building codes

Co-benefits, Suitability for Developing Countries

  • Could lead to better land use and city planning
  • Poor governance and corruption can lead to abuse of building codes, including the illegal expansion of buildings resulting in exacerbated impacts from disasters
  • Enforcement procedures are sometimes limited or non-existent, particularly in developing countries, which often lack certification and licensing processes for professionals
  • Need specialists to set a framework for building design and construction


Building codes in Bangladesh

Information Resources

  • Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Bangladesh. N.d. Bangladesh National Building Code. Available at: [[1]] [20 March 2015]
  • Rossetto, T. 2007. Construction Design, Building Standards and Site Selection. In Tools for mainstreaming disaster risk reduction. ProVention Consortium. Available at: [[2]] [11 December 2014]
  • UNESCAP, 2013. Building resilience to natural disasters and major economic crisis. Available at: [[20] March 2015]