In 2008 a developer in North Dakota opted to spend an extra $2,000 to elevate a mixed business/condo structure 3 feet higher than the height required by the National Flood Insurance Program (i.e., he incorporated freeboard). “We realized the land was low-lying and we didn’t want to risk having the building flood,” he said. “Elevating would lead to a lot less problems down the road.”

And avoid problems it did. When the area flooded last year, his building was high and dry. He estimates that his $2,000 investment saved $100,000 in damages, and that considers only damages avoided in last year’s flood event; it does not include benefits during future events or the reduction in flood insurance premiums that come with exceeding minimum standards.

We’ll call this an all-around success.

Read more about the huge benefits of freeboard.

Voluntary Elevation Pays Off for Office Condo: Builder Wanted to Avoid Liability, (via FEMA).

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