San Antonio’s Development Services Department (DSD) is the first in the State of Texas to receive a Business Code Effectiveness Classification rating of 1 for commercial by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). ISO is an independent statistical, rating organization providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. In 1999, DSD’s ratings were 8 for both commercial and residential.
“We’re the first in the State and twelfth across the nation to receive the highest rating a municipality can achieve for its exemplary commitment to building code adoption and enforcement,” said City Manager Sheryl Sculley. “This is a major accomplishment not only for DSD department, but for the city as a whole. I’m very proud of DSD Director Rod Sanchez and his team at DSD for their hard work in accomplishing this. The department has come a long way over the past decade under his leadership”
ISO evaluates building enforcement departments across the nation every five years and recently completed its DSD audit. It collects information from communities across the nation on their adoption and enforcement of building codes. It then analyzes the data and assigns a classification number to the community. This classification, ranging from 1 to 10, measures a city’s commitment to the adoption and enforcement of the most recent building codes affecting the construction of new buildings. Class 1 is the most favorable classification.
“We are very pleased to have achieved this classification for our continued committed efforts to enforcing our municipal codes,” said Rod Sanchez. “It’s significantly important to the San Antonio business community because it’s one of the criteria insurance companies use in factoring their rates. Theoretically the higher the score, the lower the premiums are.”
Cities adopting and efficiently enforcing the most recent code revisions have a significant reduction in damages to buildings, thus reducing the number of claims during catastrophic events and natural disasters. Insurance companies can use the classifications to grant premium credits to buildings constructed within these municipalities.
Key reasons contributing to the department’s exemplary rating include its dedication to adopt the latest building codes, certification requirements for staff, heavy focus on training, first-rate staffing levels, and strong, effective plan review and inspection processes.