Conducting Inspections of Lower-Area Enclosures
The Massachusetts State Building Code is designed to protect people and property—but it must be enforced to be effective.
In the coastal floodplain, elevated structures with little or no at-grade enclosures almost always weather storm flooding better than solid foundations. Because of this, permits often stipulate that buildings in these areas be elevated on open foundations. Unfortunately, owners of these buildings often later enclose lower areas of their structures for parking, storage, or even livable space. In addition to putting the structure itself and the people in it at greater risk, illegally enclosed areas increase risks to others by creating debris during storms and increasing erosion on their own or other property.
To effectively enforce building codes, your community should consider conducting routine inspections of elevated structures to ensure that no illegal enclosures have been constructed.