Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 20 Jun 2019 12am







    Wednesday, June 19, 2019-5:27:49P.M.






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All-concrete building code

IT has been my understanding that full concrete homes have been required on Guam since Typhoon Karen in 1962. If you go to Guam you will see that houses with tin and wood roofs are NOT permitted on Guam. Tin and wood roofs are against the building code and no such structures can be built there. As a result. Guam has had much less damage in its typhoons as compared to Saipan.

Saipan has had two major typhoons in the last three years. It is a good idea to ramp up Saipan’s building codes to meet Guam’s codes, and prohibit further building of tin and wood roofs here.

It is my understanding Guam’s all-concrete building code was forced on it involuntarily. FEMA got tired of paying out for every tin roof on Guam every time there was a typhoon. The federal government instructed Guam to put in an all-concrete building code and said FEMA would not reimburse for any more tin roofs on Guam. The insurance companies followed, refusing to insure tin roofs on Guam. The next typhoon, all the tin roofs were gone, and the homeowners did not have FEMA or insurance money to rebuild them. The building code preventer further building of tin roof houses on Guam.