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Crawlspace Construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas

COURSE NO: S01-004
Crawlspace Construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides guidance on crawlspace construction and supports a policy decision to allow construction of crawlspaces with interior grades up to 2 feet below the lowest adjacent exterior grade (LAG). It introduces the requirements for crawlspace construction for buildings located in special flood hazard areas.


Crawlspace foundations are commonly used to elevate the lowest floors of residential buildings located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA’s) above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). In many parts of the country, a common practice is to construct crawlspaces with the interior floor 1 or 2 feet below-grade by either (1) backfilling against the exterior of the foundation wall or (2) excavating the crawlspace area to construct footings that result in a below-grade crawlspace floor.


Because FEMA wishes to recognize common construction practices that do not increase flood damage, the construction practices for below-grade crawlspaces were examined to determine whether a crawlspace that was 1 or 2 feet below grade would increase the flood damage potential to the foundation walls.


This 1 PDH course is intended for engineers and architects who are interested in gaining an understanding of the design requirements for crawlspace construction.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding common crawlspace construction practices
  • Familiarizing with requirements for conventional crawlspace construction
  • Learning about common requirements for below-grade crawlspace construction
  • Understanding general NFIP requirements that apply to all crawlspaces with enclosed areas or floors below the BFE
  • Understanding flood forces on buildings
  • Learning about flood insurance implications for below-grade crawlspaces
  • Learning about best practices for crawlspace foundations in SFHA’s
  • Familiarizing with flood-resistant materials
  • Reviewing cases of damage caused by crawlspaces lacking proper drainage systems
  • Learning about possible drainage system options
  • Learning about utility systems protections
  • Knowing the requirements for access and ventilation openings
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the document titled, “Crawlspace Construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas” which is based on the FEMA publication “Crawlspace Construction for Buildings Located in Special Flood Hazard Areas: National Flood Insurance Program Interim Guidance”, FEMA TB-11, November 2001.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Crawlspace Construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas (921 KB)
Course Quiz

Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions to earn 1 PDH credit. The quiz will be based on this FEMA publication.

The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: