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IFC pilots building rating index in Philippines

Elijah Felice Rosales (The Philippine Star) - May 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The International Finance Corp. (IFC) has initiated in the Philippines an index that measures the integrity of buildings to withstand calamities, and plans to introduce this rating system worldwide to mitigate the economic impact brought on by disasters.

The IFC has launched the Building Resilience Index (BRI) that seeks to identify, manage and disclose the risks of putting up infrastructure projects in certain areas of the Philippines.

The BRI grades the physical integrity and operational continuity of structures to overcome wind, water, geoseismic and fire calamities.

The BRI grants an A+ rating to an infrastructure that meets the highest level of capacity to make it through a disaster with below 15 percent maximum loss. On the other hand, it extends an A rating to structures that employ global best practices to alleviate physical damage.

Securing a B grade means the building makes use of latest code requirements and can survive hazards with less than 30 percent maximum loss. However, obtaining a C grade demands the property developer to improve the infrastructure, as it may endure up to 50 percent maximum loss in the event of a disaster.

The BRI issues an R rating to structures that fail to meet any of the requirements that it may end up crumbling to the ground in the face of a calamity.

IFC senior industry specialist Ommid Saberi said the benefits outweigh the costs of investing in the resilience of buildings, as he urged developers to make sure the projects they build comply with global best practices and latest code requirements.

Based on the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2019 Report, investing $1 every year in abiding by the newest building code may save $13 in economic losses during a disaster, while allocating $4 a year in going beyond what is required may result in $16 worth of returns.

With the BRI, the IFC looks to fulfill the third objective in the World Bank’s action plan to develop a new rating system for buildings that will incentivize investments made in promoting resiliency and enhancing tracking.

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